Striking the balance between interior design and infection control in care homes

When it comes to infection control in care homes, every aspect of an environment can help to prevent the development and spread of germs – and interior design is no exception.

While furnishings and fittings may be perceived as being somewhat secondary to items such as healthcare equipment, they actually play a pivotal role in combating infections.

But here’s the thing: the interior design solutions that perform the best when it comes to managing infection don’t necessarily always tend to perform particularly well when it comes to visual appeal.

Creating and maintaining the right environment is key within care home settings, particularly when it comes to showing visitors around for the first time. Like all venues, first impressions count, and having a welcoming and inviting environment gives off the right impression to visitors, as well as helping to make residents feel right at home.

So, is it really possible for your interior design to look appealing, whilst following effective infection control procedures?  The answer is yes, and we’re about to show you how, with three actionable ways to strike the right balance.

The right materials are key

When it comes to choosing fabrics for sofas, chairs and other points of contact, we’d always recommend vinyl or duo split fabrics. 

Vinyl is particularly good, as not only is it hard-wearing, but it’s waterproof, meaning it is less likely to retain fluid and stains as other materials, making it the most effective at infection control in your care home.

You may also be able to opt for an anti-microbial coating on your furniture, which will kill any bacteria it comes into contact with.

Fit castors on freestanding furniture

It sounds simple, but castors on your furniture can really help with following infection control procedures, as you can easily move your furniture to clean underneath them, as opposed to just around them.

You should also ensure when choosing any type of furniture that it has a smooth finish, as it makes it much easier and quicker to keep clean; resulting in a lower chance of any bacteria gathering in nooks or crannies – helping with infection control.

Opt for cap and coved floor vinyl

In wet areas of your care home such as the bathroom or kitchen, you should choose a cap and coved floor vinyl, so you can clean it more effectively. In living rooms and bedrooms, choose an impervious carpet. Not only do these floorings provide a seamless finish, they are more of an effective barrier against any leaks or spillages.

When getting your vinyl floor or impervious carpet fitted, make sure that it’s fitted with the least number of seams. The reason for this, is that the fewer number of seams, the fewer places there are for germs to congregate, which is one of the key principles of infection control.

Final thoughts

While it might initially seem that it’s not possible to create a care environment that ticks both the design and infection control boxes, the truth is, that it is possible – you just need to have  the right outlook and insight.

If you’d like to discuss the latest interior design trends, and discover how you can utilise furnishings for effective infection control in care homes, get in touch with us today, as we’d love to help. Alternatively, for the latest news in the care sector, head on over to our blog.

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