The primary concern of any nursing or elderly care home is to keep residents healthy and happy, but catering to the needs of ageing bodies is often easier said than done. If you're a nursing home manager looking to improve resident health and quality of life without going over budget, consider having an air conditioning system installed (or upgrade your current system if you have one). Air conditioning isn't just about comfort; it can actually improve the health of the elderly. Here are 2 ways an AC system could benefit your facility.
High heat can prohibit elderly nursing home residents from getting adequate nutrition. Many people find that they are far less hungry when it's hot because they feel too lethargic to eat. Research suggests that people eat less in hot weather to help regulate their body temperature, as the digestive process generates heat. This can be very problematic for elderly people, as the ageing process already makes loss of appetite more common. The heat can cause these residents to reject food and sometimes even water, as their bodies don't feel up to eating or drinking. Malnutrition in the elderly can lead to further health problems such as vitamin deficiencies, brittle bones, and a lowered immune system, so it's important to combat the issue. Adequate air conditioning can help with this problem by bringing down the temperature of your dining area. The cooler environment will stimulate your residents' appetites and encourage them to eat and drink more, thereby reducing the risk of malnutrition and dehydration.
Reducing Respiratory Illness
Indoor air pollution is commonly overlooked in favour of controlling outdoor air pollution, but poor indoor air quality can be even worse. Evidence shows that indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air, and the elderly can be the biggest victims due to the amount of time they spend indoors. A European study reported that indoor air pollutants in nursing homes cause elderly residents to suffer from breathing and coughing problems, as well as serious respiratory diseases. If you have elderly residents suffering from lung problems such as asthma or lung cancer, a good AC system could reduce their symptoms by filtering out pollutants and allergens from your facility. It will also help lower the risk of healthy residents contracting similar illnesses. As an added benefit, this filtration also removes odours from the air, making your facility a more pleasant environment for everyone.