Families take their elderly members to care facilities knowing that these places are better equipped to watch over their ageing loved ones. They have a staff of trained personnel and the place is truly designed to accommodate the mobility issues that older people have. However, it’s a big concern that some care homes have been reported to be the breeding places of the dreaded Legionella bacteria.
Exposure to these bacteria can be fatal for seniors (actually, for anybody with a weak immune system). People who are 50 years or older tend to have different health complications, and exposure to Legionella bacteria can lead not only to Legionnaires’ disease, but also the flare-up of other health concerns.
Those who have chronic lung disease (such as emphysema), cancer or diabetes, or have undergone a transplant operation, are particularly at high risk of succumbing to Legionnaires’ disease. These are the people who commonly live in care facilities and should not be exposed to the bacteria.
What places seniors at greater risk as well are their hygiene and special wellness practices such as steaming and soaking in a hot tub. These activities are typically what expose people to the harmful bacteria.
It’s for this reason that care home Legionnaires’ testing should be carried out regularly since the lives of tenants truly depend on it. Very few infected elderly folks live through Legionnaires’ disease, so prevention, through testing and proper cleaning, truly is a must.
Fortunately, Legionnaires’ disease testing can be done conveniently because there are affordable kits that can be purchased online. Care homes just need to get samples of water from their distribution systems, and in a matter of days, they will be presented the result of the test. They’ll find out if they’re in the clear, or if they need to take precautionary measures to protect tenants from possible exposure, or if tenants need to be taken right away to the hospital for early treatment.
However, if there is an existing contamination in the care home, there’s no need to be greatly alarmed because getting rid of Legionella bacteria from water distribution systems is easy enough. There are powerful cleaning agents that specifically target the said bacteria. Showerhead Plus is especially effective in killing off Legionella bacteria; just a small amount goes a long way.
So if you have loved ones living in care homes, make sure that the facility conducts regular Legionnaires’ disease testing, and that they use cleaning agents that are proven effective against Legionella bacteria.
Written by +Duncan Hollis, Aquacert