Family or Friends in a Care Home?

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John Wilton-Davies

A Personal Message...

Today’s newsletter takes the form of an appeal. Its aim isn’t to educate or sell you something, but to make you think about taking action to help protect anyone you know in a care home.

Care & nursing homes, despite their best efforts, are particularly dangerous places during the COVID 19 outbreak for staff, and especially for residents.  When COVID 19 infects a care home, evidence from countries ahead of us on the curve show death rates amongst residents of 20% or more.  

Sixteen residents die in Scottish Care Home

With staff coming and going, with transmission common before symptoms appear, and with residents usually unwilling for either themselves or their carers to wear normal PPE (imagine the effect of a face mask on a dementia patient), it’s easy to see that once an infection enters a home, it can be extremely hard to prevent it spreading.

Coronavirus typically spreads in one of 3 ways: Direct transfer, through coughing, sneezing or breath in proximity to another; Indirect transfer from contaminated surfaces; and from breathing in aerosolised viral particles – exhaled by an infected person and remaining suspended in the air for a potentially very long period until inhaled by another.  And in a care home environment a carer cannot maintain social distancing.

The air purifiers that Plain Air supplies remove virus from the air in exactly the same way as other particulate pollution.  Airborne COVID 19 particles are large enough to be almost completely captured by an effective filter and, with an effective purification system cleaning t he entire volume of a room’s air every 12 minutes, any airborne viral load is significantly reduced.

Further, with the severity of symptoms and risk of death closely linked to air quality,removing other pollution from the air improves prospects for anyone infected. [In the SARS outbreak, death rates were over 80% higher in regions of even moderate air pollution compared to low pollution].

An infected person entering a room can leave airborne virus circulating for many hours,leaving both occupants and other staff or visitors prone to infection.  With care homes (hopefully) on top of general hygiene and surface cleaning, cleaning the air may add a valuable level of protection.

If you are concerned about a relative or friend in a care home we suggest you consider two possibilities:

Provide your relative/friend with a suitable purifier for their private room.  An basic ideal model would depend on the room size but our recommendation for a room not exceeding 15 m² would cost £129,including VAT and delivery direct to the home.

Discuss your concerns with the management of your friend’s/relative’s home.  Get them to call us at Plain Air and we’ll talk to them about suitable action to protect residents in shared rooms too.

Of course it’s impossible to say precisely how much the risk of infection, or indeed the severity of infection, might reduce from taking action.  But for typically the cost of a single day’scare, or less, we urge you to consider this carefully.

During the lock-down period we have extended our opening hours to 7 p.m, 6 days a week.  Please do call us to discuss.

John Wilton-Davies

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