Limiting the spread of long-range airborne diseases in Long Term Care Facilities
Keywords:Health, ventilation, Covid-19, pathogen transmission, dementia, care facilities
In the next decades the number of aging people living with dementia and requiring intensive care will increase significantly. With this increasing number, due to their frailty, new challenges arise, including a higher risk of infection due to long-range aerosols that contain pathogens. This study sought an answer to the question of how the risk of (potentially lethal) infection through such transmissions can be limited, and the quality of life improved. The study looked at improving the basic health of residents and at additional measures to reduce the risk of infection in long term care facilities (LTCF). The focus group within this research was demented aging people living in small scale care facilities with 24-hour guidance. By means of an iterative design process and the In2health method, a building design was realised in which additional measures concerning ventilation and air-cleaning were applied. These measures were tested against different future scenarios concerning the spread of viruses in LTCFs. Based on various calculations using the Wells-Riley method, it was concluded that the building design can reduce the risk of infection without affecting the quality of life. This, however, does take a lot of additional devices, services and measures per building. Further research should include measurements in long term care facilities to ensure the specific effectiveness of the measures. Furthermore, specific air quality regulations should be designed for long term care facilities, including calculations based on risk for infection.
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Copyright (c) 2022 J.M.A de Kort, M.G.L.C. Loomans, L. Havinga
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