Wise Strategies for Distributing to the Growing Long-Term Care Market
Recent projections expect the U.S. population age 65 and older to double in the coming years, reaching almost 84 million by 2050. Of that number, a likely 67% will spend time in a long-term care (LTC) facility such as a nursing home, senior living home, or a rehab center. The long-term care market is already big and getting bigger!
As the market expands to keep up with demand, LTC providers will increasingly invest in maintenance products to help their facility stand out as safe, clean and healthy. By understanding long-term care providers’ unique needs and challenges, distributors can build partnerships and be ready with products and services that contribute to a first-class experience for residents, family members and staff.
The term “long-term care” encompasses a broad range of health, personal care and support services designed to meet the needs of those whose ability to care for themselves is limited. Because residents are often older and have various ailments, special care and attention must be paid to certain facility maintenance needs.
Create comfort with specialized cleaners and deodorizers
When evaluating long-term care options, residents and their loved ones look first at whether facilities appear clean and comfortable. Rooms and common areas that have familiar sights, sounds and smells result in greater overall resident and family satisfaction. Of particular note:
- Walls, furniture and floors should be free from marks and stains
- Polished surfaces like rails or countertops should visibly shine
- Floors should be clean and finished but not high gloss; too much gloss can confuse certain residents (more on how to choose the right floor finish here)
- Fragrances should be pleasant and familiar. MARVALOSA lavender-fragranced air freshener is a popular choice for public spaces
- Grab handles, bars, knobs and tabletops should be cleaned of grime and stickiness
- Linens should be washed frequently to keep them fresh and bright
- Restrooms should be disinfected and deodorized with cleaners that combat uric acid
When people see surroundings that are well cared for, they are more inclined to believe that they and/or their loved one will be well taken care of too!
Disinfecting is critical
Floors, surfaces and restrooms that look and smell clean are important. Equally, if not more important, however, is the control of germs. Long-term care residents often have delicate immune systems, so it’s critical to pay extra attention to minimizing the possibility of infection. Surfaces and areas should be disinfected properly to reduce the risk of cross contamination, and to control viruses and bacteria that can spread quickly in the close quarters of a long-term care environment.
Disinfectants should be effective against dangerous microorganisms like Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are most commonly found in nursing homes. Nyco’s one-step Sani-Spritz Spray works well for this.
Understanding which germs a disinfectant kills, and how quickly, is important for distributors when recommending products for long-term care. You can read more about choosing appropriate disinfectants here.
Clean, maintained floors help keep residents safe
Floor maintenance is a special consideration in long-term care facilities, since residents often have limited mobility and are more prone to slips and falls. Tile surfaces should be clean but never slippery; products should not leave any type of residue that could be hazardous. Many facilities use soft surfaces for flooring, so products that can clean, disinfect and protect rubber, vinyl and wood will be in high demand.
Don’t forget the kitchen sink!
Most long-term care facilities regularly prepare and serve food, so cleaners and sanitizers that keep food prep areas clean and protect against cross-contamination are necessary. Extra attention should be paid to range hoods, ovens, walls and other potentially greasy surfaces in the kitchen. Multi-purpose formulas that sanitize and are compliant with health regulations create a safe space for residents and staff.
Keeping long-term care residents, their family members and staff healthy, safe and happy is an important task, and one that is becoming more critical each year as the U.S. population ages. Specific products that offer superior cleaning and disinfecting will continue to be a top focus for facility maintenance managers. For a complete long-term care facility chemical supply checklist to assist distributors in understanding critical areas to be cleaned, download our Long-Term Care Brochure.