December 6, 2021
Last Updated On:
May 6, 2022

UV-C Disinfection For Infection Prevention In Senior Living Facilities

From UV-C Lamps To Autonomous UV Robots, Learn How UV-C Can Help Keep Assisted Living Facilities Safe.

Last Updated On:
May 6, 2022

Since the onset of the pandemic, medical facilities have been adversely affected, hindering their ability to provide critical care. This impact was intensely felt for senior living facilities as nursing homes had to transform their strict infection prevention protocols overnight. When caring for our most vulnerable populations achieving safe and pathogen-free indoor environments is no small task. Read our article to discover why assisted living facilities have turned to various forms of UV-C technology to aid conventional cleaning and reduce viral spread amongst patients, staff, and visitors.

In Assisted Living Facilities Can UV-C Disinfection Eliminate The SARS-CoV-2 Virus?

Yes, UV-C technology has long been an effective disinfection technology against harmful germs like viruses, bacteria, mold, and other pathogens. Recent testing conducted by UV-C light manufacturers has indicated further efficacy in eliminating over 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).

So How Does UV-C Disinfection Technology Work? 

This technology harnesses the sun’s power, specifically UV radiation, to eliminate viruses, bacteria, and harmful pathogens. Specifically, the UV-C radiation kills the DNA of viruses and other pathogenic cells and stops their cell functioning on the spot. UV-C disinfection devices come in a variety of form factors. Including stand-alone UV-C lamps, drop-ceiling UV-C lamps, UV-C integrated portable air purifiers, UV-C HVAC air purifiers, and autonomous UV-C disinfection robots. 

Sanalife offers an industry-leading UV-C disinfection robot manufactured by UVD Robots (Blue Ocean Robotics). This fully autonomous UV-C robot can clean spaces as large as 150,000 square feet on a single charge. UVD Robots are the perfect UV-C disinfection solution for long-term care facilities seeking to improve infection prevention protocols using advanced safety features and LIDAR technology.

Can UV-C Robot Disinfection Eliminate SARS-CoV-2 And Other Pathogens?

Yes, true to Sanalife’s focus on product efficacy, UV-C Robots have been thoroughly tested against various pathogens, including COVID-19. Unlike other UV-C manufacturers that make claims to “destroy,” “kill,” or “inactivate” viruses, UVD Robots have testing to back up their technology.

In a study posted to Research Square, 254nm UV-C irradiation was demonstrated to inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus completely within 8.2 seconds at a 1-meter distance. For senior living facilities, this rapid disinfection could significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially for a virus that could survive on dormant surfaces for up to 3 days.

However, long-term care facilities face other infection prevention challenges beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Candida Auris fungus has become another outbreak for many assisted living facilities. This multi-drug resistant fungus can survive on surfaces for weeks and is often present when personal and environmental hygiene is unkept.

Candida Auris can increase the chances of severe infections and additional medical problems for assisted living patients. When tested against UV-C disinfection, Candida Auris could take up to 10 minutes of irradiation to inactivate. In fact, UV-C disinfection is currently one of the only solutions to eliminate the presence of Candida Auris in medical settings.

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Importance of UV-C Cleaning in Senior Living Facilities

Compared to other cleaning technologies like air ionizersUV-C light is far more effective at killing a large percentage of the pathogens it comes into contact with. UV-C light sterilization is one of the safest ways to clean viruses and bacteria from indoor environments. Now, more than ever, it is important to keep long-term care homes free of these microorganisms with increased infection prevention protocols.

Estimates suggest that SARS-CoV-2 resulted in the fatalities of at least 136,000 nursing home residents—representing about a fifth of US COVID-19 mortality—and more than 2,000 workers in these facilities. Pandemics are a serious threat to these vulnerable populations. With senior residents having pre-existing conditions and weaker immune systems, they are more susceptible to contracting pathogens. Therefore, UV-C disinfection systems are proving to become a critical cleaning technology for nursing homes and assisted care facilities.

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Advantages of UV Light Disinfection for Senior Housing

So what are the main advantages of UV light disinfection? Firstly, no other cleaning technology can match the historical efficacy of UV-C disinfection against pathogens, viruses, and bacteria. Recommended even by the CDC, UV-C lights have a proven track record in providing sanitization. Secondly, UV-C lights come in various form factors at multiple price levels. This diversity in market availability allows assisted living facilities to choose the right type of UV-C for their infection prevention needs.

Lastly, no other disinfection technology outperforms UV-C in reducing even those most dangerous pathogens. This is of the utmost importance for senior housing to improve existing infection prevention protocols. With proven efficacy against COVID-19 and Candida Auris, UV-C can help protect these medically vulnerable populations.

How To Develop A Senior Living Facility Sanitation Plan?

Suppose you’re sold on the idea of implementing UV-C sanitization in your long-term care facility. In that case, you’ll want to develop a senior living facility sanitation and disinfection plan. This will help your facility stick to regular cleanings. 

With the help of your facility manager, you’ll be able to decide who the stakeholders of this plan are, scheduling, resources and materials, preferred methods, the timing of cleanings, and the appropriate cleaning methods. Here are other tips to consider when developing this plan: 

  • Review policies around facility cleaning. Keep your cleaning policy and outbreak prevention up-to-date. Make sure to follow the CDC flu guidelines for nursing homes.
  • You’ll want to consider assembling a sanitization task force. This task force can be on guard for when outbreaks occur. They can also be in charge of the cleaning crew, UV-C disinfection lamps, and UV-C cleaning robots.
  • Be mindful of hotspots or areas with build-up pathogens, i.e., doorknobs, light switches, bathrooms, and countertops.
  • Restock and monitor cleaning supplies. You’ll want to ensure you have enough cleaning supplies and don’t run out.
  • You’ll want to map out how disinfection devices like UV-C air cleanings, UV-C robots, and other cleaning devices interact with your plan. Will UV-C bulbs need to be changed annually? Who will be responsible for maintaining installed UV-C systems?
  • Be sure to include other best practices for creating improved indoor environment quality.

Not sure where to start? Reach out to Sanalife today to see how UV-C can drastically improve the air in your long-term care facility. 

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