The effects of aging include the immune system and older people naturally do not respond to immune challenges as robustly as the young. Aged Care Facilities are a haven for bacteria and viruses and protecting residents from pathogens is a daily struggle. Monash University Melbourne researchers carried out swab tests on 115 residents of four facilities and found that more than a third of them were infected with antibiotic-resistant superbugs. In one facility, nearly half of the residents were infected (agedcareguide). Calls to re-think how residential aged care facilities manage hygiene have been made after a study reveals residents appear to be significant carriers of superbug infections, potentially putting other residents, staff and visitors at risk.
Too many facilities are not implementing adequate infection control procedures due to already overstretched staff and lack of additional and staff hours to do the required tasks. With the “bottom line” always in sight, savings often affect infection control measures and focus is given on how to react to an outbreak, rather than how to prevent an outbreak in the first place. An infection control prevention program comes with additional benefits such as overall less staff sickness & staff absentee rates, healthier residents and an overall better reputation in the community.
Each facility has its reasons for not disinfecting to an adequate level. The number one reason is usually lack of knowledge, closely followed by not wanting to add to the bottom line. Insufficient staff numbers available for disinfecting tasks and a refusal to use toxic and potentially harmful chemicals are other factors. Using traditional disinfectants, which can be corrosive and damaging to expensive equipment and furnishings, is another concern. The reality is that disinfecting doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be toxic, and it can undoubtedly add to the bottom line of an aged care facility by offering a key point of difference to the competition – a safe environment which is also free of odours. People will always choose a facility which is promoting and offering a clean and safe environment over a facility that doesn’t. Which facility would you choose for your loved one?
A respite-care facility in regional Victoria had experienced two outbreaks of gastroenteritis within a short time period. Both outbreaks had to be reported and caused a complete shutdown of the facility. MicroSafe Care Australia and the Aged Care Facility Management agreed on a trial to see if the Nanocyn® Disinfectant & Sanitiser can improve problems with the current disinfecting protocol. The facility was looking for a new disinfecting & sanitising product that can address most, ideally all of their requirements:
• Contain and eliminate infections & illnesses in affected rooms
• Reduce the spread of infectious diseases to protect residents, visitors and staff
• Reduce odour in contaminated rooms & communal areas
• Disinfect the airspace as well as hard surfaces
• Be all-natural, non-corrosive, non-toxic and safe to the environment as well as non-alcoholic with no OH&S issues.
• Quick in application to keep adding staff hours to a minimum
• Be registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
MicroSafe Care Australia recommended the use of the Nanocyn® Disinfectant & Sanitiser. The disruptive biotechnology disinfectant solution effectively used to contain, control and eliminate a wide range of pathogens while ticking ALL the boxes requested by the facilities’ management and able to be used with people present in the room. After inspecting the facility, the required monthly quantity of the product, as well as the number of fumigation machines, was established.
Key rooms were identified each morning where fumigation was required. Several rooms had residents with the common cold while two rooms had residents with gastrointestinal illnesses. One room was occupied by a resident experiencing severe bladder dysfunction. The rooms were fumigated daily to contain the diseases and to control the odour. Every hard surface, as well as the airspace and bathrooms, were fumigated, all while the residents remained in the room. The solution was left to air dry. Additionally, all communal areas such as hallways, TV rooms, food areas, activity rooms and the kitchen were fumigated quickly and efficiently to ensure minimal interruption to the daily routine of the facility. Complete elimination of 99.999% all pathogens on hard surfaces as well as airspace was achieved quickly and efficiently by using two fumigation machines simultaneously.
The Nanocyn® Disinfectant & Sanitiser performed well above the high expectations of the facilities’ operators. The diseases in the contaminated rooms were contained and eliminated, with no reinfections reported. The room profoundly affected by odour was neutralised entirely. The gastrointestinal, as well as the common cold problems, did not spread to other rooms. The communal areas were completely cleared of any odours leaving a completely clean and neutral scent throughout the facility. Residents, visitors, and staff commented on the clean and fresh feel of the communal areas. The product application with the help of the fumigation machines was easy and very efficient. The cleaning staff was able to disinfect all communal areas of the facility within less than 45 minutes; minimum training was required to operate the machines. No other product or technology currently available would have been able to achieve the same result while being non-toxic, non-flammable, non-corrosive with all-natural ingredients while being REGISTERED with the Australian authorities. This includes any steam, microfiber or UV light solutions.
A relative of a resident requested the daily fumigation of the relatives’ room, happy to bear the additional per room cost after witnessing the tremendous benefits of the product first hand while visiting.