Cold and flu season this winter is one of the worst ever. Flu, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), and COVID-19 are taking their toll in a "Tripledemic" of massive proportions. And public health officials are warning that the elderly are especially at risk.
Elderly people are often immunocompromised and more susceptible to airborne contaminants. Poor air quality and increased risk of exposure to airborne pathogens such as viruses and bacteria can put everyone at risk for serious infection.
During the pandemic, COVID-19 spread rapidly through nursing homes. According to KFF, over 200,000 residents and staff in long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19. That’s 23% of all COVID-related deaths in the U.S.
And experts are warning us that COVID hasn't gone away quite yet. So we must continue doing our best to protect the most vulnerable.
Air purifiers in your nursing home eliminate aerosol particles that patients release into the air, protecting patients and staff and providing everyone with peace of mind.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during the pandemic, nursing homes remained closed to visitors and forced residents to self-isolate in their rooms. This had a major impact on the emotional well-being of elderly residents and left many feeling lonely and isolated.
Various studies show that decline in mental health can have a detrimental effect on physical health, especially for the elderly.
Using effective air purification in common areas of your facility allows residents and staff to spend time with each other and welcome visits from friends and family. Socializing helps boost residents’ mental health and ensures no one feels alone.
The CDC, WHO, and EPA recommend portable HEPA air purifiers to minimize the spread of airborne viruses like SARS-CoV-2 associated with COVID-19. In fact, an extensive review by the EPA found the combination of HEPA and carbon is the safest, most effective solution.
Purifiers that use UV lights, Ionization, and PCO technology are not ideal because they can produce dangerous byproducts that release into the air.
All our units use the highest quality Medical-Grade HEPA and carbon blend to effectively filter a wide range of contaminants, including chemicals, VOCs, allergens, dust, viruses, and bacteria.
Our extended filter life (lasting up to five years) combined with our durable steel casing make Austin Air Purifiers the number one choice in all healthcare settings. No maintenance, no costly filter changes. Just plug it in and let it run 24/7.
Studies have shown older adults suffer increased blood pressure during high exposure to air pollution, specifically particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide (often emitted from stoves, space heaters, water heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, and boilers).
In fact, studies have even found low-level exposure to pollution (those below national safety standards) is linked to increased risk for heart and lung problems such as heart attacks, strokes, irregular heartbeats, and pneumonia in people 65 or older.
But there’s good news! A recent clinical trial carried out by the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering demonstrated that using an Austin Air Purifier to remove pollutants from the air helps lower a person’s blood pressure and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Our involvement in clinical trials started in 2001. We were selected by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the country’s number one children’s hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, to take part in a clinical trial to improve children’s asthma symptoms and reduce visits to the ER.
Since then, we've been involved in a number of trials, working with some of the country's leading institutions, including Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington. The results of these trials confirm what we've known for many years: running an Austin Air purifier removes a wide range of airborne pollutants and will help improve respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD. If you'd like to read more about our clinical trials, learn more here.
According to an EPA report, a significant amount of HEPA and carbon must be used in your air purifier’s filtration; otherwise filters will need to be changed every few months. That’s why the Austin Air HealthMate Plus® has:
60 sq. ft. of True Medical-Grade HEPA proven to remove 99% of all virus particles as small as 0.1 microns.
Up to 15 pounds of Activated Carbon and Zeolite, together with potassium-iodide impregnated carbon, remove chemicals, gases, and odors.
No one in the industry even comes close to using that much. This ensures a long filter life of up to 5 years.
“That’s the impact of Austin.”
1. Common Areas
Common areas where residents, staff, and family members spend time together are often high-risk environments. With little or no ventilation, viruses and bacteria accumulate with no way to escape. This increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission and other airborne pathogens.
VOCs and chemicals from furnishing and flooring can also have a major impact on indoor air quality if effective filtration is not used.
Public and shared restrooms are breeding grounds for bacteria and odors. Effective air filtration helps remove odors and other airborne contaminants, creating a clean, safe space for residents, staff, and visitors.
3. Dining Areas
Dining rooms, where large groups of residents and staff spend time together, can be a high-risk environment for the transmission of airborne viruses like SARS-CoV-2 associated with COVID-19.
Other contaminants in the cafeteria include NO2 from gas appliances, and chemicals and VOCs from cleaning products. Exposure to NO2 causes coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness and is particularly dangerous for people with ongoing respiratory diseases such as COPD, a common condition among the elderly.
4. Pollution From the Street
If your facility is close to a busy road, toxic emissions from vehicles can find their way indoors. Without effective air filtration, these chemicals and gases can have a serious impact on the health of residents and staff and can exacerbate existing respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD.
5. Gym/Rehab Center
Materials commonly found in gyms and rehab centers can emit VOCs and formaldehyde into the air. Gym equipment, plastics, carpeting and flooring, furnishing, particle boards, chemicals, and cleaners are all potential sources of indoor air pollution.
Exposure to VOCs and chemicals can cause a wide range of symptoms, including eye, nose, and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and skin problems. Higher concentrations may irritate the lungs, as well as cause damage to the liver, kidneys, or central nervous system.
Gyms are also high-traffic areas, with large numbers of people spending prolonged periods of time together. Without effective air filtration, the risk of COVID-19 transmission in a gym or rehab center is high.
Furthermore, a person’s breathing rate is faster during exercise, which increases the risk of inhaling viral particles and other airborne contaminants.
6. Residents’ Rooms
Our respiratory system decreases by around 50% when we lie down. This reduced lung capacity makes us more vulnerable to airborne contaminants during the night, particularly older people who are more likely to have ongoing respiratory issues. Airborne contaminants in the bedroom increase the risk of nighttime asthma and allergy attacks. They also disrupt sleep and prevent us from getting the rest we need.
Unwell residents often spend long periods in their room, with staff, family, and friends visiting the facility. If effective air filtration is not used in such situations, the risk of COVID-19 transmission is high for this group of vulnerable residents.
7. Employee Workspaces
Equipment commonly found in staff workspaces, such as copy machines and printers can emit dangerous levels of VOCs and chemicals into the environment. A number of studies show that airborne contaminants in the workplace are responsible for poor staff productivity and high rates of staff absenteeism. Running an Austin Air purifier helps keep your employees healthy and boosts staff performance.