Director and Principal at MSA, Robert Davies, recently contributed his expertise in long term care to Canadian Architect, as part of the publication’s Pandemic Effect series. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bob discusses ways in which design can help mitigate the effect of the outbreak in long term care homes.
In the article, Bob distinguishes how LTC homes are regulated and funded and further explains how they differ from other healthcare environments, where inhabitants are treated as residents in a home-like setting and not as patients in a clinical one. Bob goes on to articulate how many assisted living facilities in Canada are outdated, with multiple residents sharing a room and bathroom and overcrowding in social areas – all of which contributes to the spread of the disease. If a resident is infected, they must be isolated, which is not always possible in older homes.
To help alleviate the spread of COVID-19 throughout LTC facilities, and to help prevent future outbreaks, Bob suggests updating design standards and reexamining alternative funding options, which would improve ventilation in enclosed spaces, improve staffing levels or replace the building altogether. However, the challenge remains with finding the right balance between designing a care facility which resembles a home, yet is capable of providing the right clinical conditions during a pandemic.
The entire article can be found here: https://www.canadianarchitect.com/pandemic-effect-long-term-care-homes/