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With the recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is looking for new ways to stay healthy and prevent the spread of disease. Organizations are implementing new practices to help accomplish this endeavor. One sector at the forefront of health precautions is the healthcare industry. Facilities dedicated to medical and nursing care are interested in innovative ways they can shield themselves against infections.

People whose immune system is compromised can easily contract contagious diseases. This applies to elderly people, who are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society. Facilities are responding with creative systems to stop the spread by using methods such as antimicrobial paint.

The Elderly’s Higher Risk for Infections

In the United States, people 65 and older are considered to be elderly.

This population generally has an immune system that is less responsive to infections. Their bodies are weakened by age, and in most cases, chronic diseases are present. This prevents them from bouncing back as quickly as a younger person. It doesn’t mean the elderly will contract every disease that comes their way, but it does mean they are at a higher risk.

The elderly are more likely to suffer from diseases that compromise their immune system, which can turn mild infections into serious health threats.

Factors that Negatively Affect the Elderly

The elderly population is usually immobile. They are likely to live sedentary lives indoors. People are more prone to sickness when kept inside without fresh air and sunshine. Nothing beats the flow of air that comes from the outdoors. Quality oxygenation deters viruses and bacteria.

Indoor artificial air is dangerous because pathogens are likely to circulate in the ventilation system. One example is the “sick building syndrome.” The U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health describes the sick building syndrome”” as a scenario where occupants of a closed structure, such as a building, begin to experience acute health effects that are suspected to be linked to the time spent inside the place. A lack of fresh circulating air likely creates an environment that harbors contagious diseases. Visitors and other people that spend a significant amount of time in the building have symptoms that last as long as they remain inside the structure. It becomes a critical situation with highly detrimental health consequences when the place is a residential structure such as an apartment building or senior living facility.

Leadership to Manage Indoor Spaces Safely

Management teams in charge of buildings where people reside play a key role in the health of the community. There has been an increase in the use of anti-microbial coatings in senior living centers. It has been found that the number of pathogens is greatly decreased by using microbicidal paints. These chemicals create a detrimental environment for common microbes. They can be applied to walls, furniture, doors, countertops, and other surfaces, which are breeding grounds for microbes.

Many progressive changes are happening in the industry due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Without a doubt, antimicrobial paint allows senior living to be safer. These types of facilities have been shifting towards an environment that combines medical care, physical rehabilitation, and an active lifestyle. Although this trend enriches the lives of residents, it also creates more opportunities for contagious infections. Management has the challenge of balancing all of these elements to create a safe and progressive environment for both residents and staff.

How do Microbicidal Coatings Work Against The Spread of Disease?

Anti-microbial coatings work by inhibiting and actively destroying various pathogens that interact with the formulated paint. One of the leading coatings out in the market is Sherwin-Williams’, Paint Shield. Other brands are coming into the market as well.

Paint Shield Safeguards Against Common Pathogens

These are some of the pathogens that cannot survive the product:

Staphylococcus (staph infections)

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Escherichia coli (E. coli)

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)

Klebsiella aerogenes (Enterobacter aerogenes)

Before being approved, Paint Shield successfully passed rigorous rounds of laboratory assessments. A series of tests demonstrated its performance. The results revealed that it destroys up to 99.9 percent of targeted bacteria within two hours of coming contacting the surface previously treated.

Paint Shield has a hugely important feature, that is its durability. It stays active for years, even without additional applications. However, coatings should be reapplied as part of a consistent and ongoing maintenance routine.

Paint Shield in Senior Care Facilities

Since hitting the market in 2015, Paint Shield has been adopted by a large number of senior care living facilities throughout the United States, from independent living communities to advanced-care centers assisting residents in managing chronic diseases and age-related conditions.

Residents and staff are protected against human error that leads to the spread of disease. Although senior living facilities are staffed by trained professionals who are aware of the needs of the elderly and are educated about health precautions, it is still possible for infections to spread due to errors.

Daily challenges present many opportunities for sanitation protocols and other preventative measures to be unintentionally violated. This puts everyone at risk, with seniors as the most affected group due to their compromised immune systems.

Exposing an elderly person to pathogens can be as easy as forgetting to wash your hands after touching your nose and opening a door afterward. Unfortunately, during food service, a couple of widely seen pathogens (E. coli and Staph) contaminate residents. These are two very dangerous microbes that can become serious. MRSA and VRE have been found to resist antibiotics, which brings forward an additional challenge.

Applications of Paint Shield

To avoid spreading infections, Paint Shield is used in multiple areas that include:

1. Areas for Food Preparation

On-site preparation of meals are high-risk places where infections can be passed on. Staphylococcus and Escherichia coli are frequently the reason why food poisoning occurs. Depending on their general health, a person can become gravely ill or even die. Symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting are seen, even if minimal traces of the microbe is present. Anti-microbial coatings create an easier way to maintain areas spotless and disinfected.

2. Medical Storage Rooms

To stop contamination, medication storage rooms must be included in the coating project. A great number of facilities manage medications for patients/residents. Medication rooms must be always kept climate-controlled and remain spotless. Commercial paints with anti-microbial properties helps stop contamination from happening.

3. Place for Staff Members

In addition to patient areas, places where staff members spend time are perfect for Paint Shield. Places where staff spends time such as conference rooms, locker rooms, eating areas, garage. All areas are important to cover with Paint Shield. Staff members will recognize a safer environment where they can fulfill all their duties at ease.

Managers are finding it a good idea to add microbicidal paint as part of their facility’s policies and procedures to ensure a safer environment. The staff has the power to reduce the spread with each conscious step they take in the right direction. With restricted time, passive methods combine effectiveness and practicality. Microbicidal coatings are one of the most effective “passive” methods that medical and elderly care facilities can choose to prevent disease and ensure wellness for their staff and residents.

How Can a Facility Adapt Paint Shield Into Their System?

Managers you don’t have to lift all the weight alone. Our company has commercial painters trained to educate customers and help them find a strategy to keep them safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. American Painting Specialists in Westminster Colorado are ready to speak to you and provide a free estimate for your commercial painting project.