Better care starts with safety and comfort.

How Smells Can Make a Lasting First Impression in Your Senior Living Facility

By Greg Snoddy, Vice President, Healthcare Sales - Senior Living
August 2016


Smell is one of the most powerful senses, directly connected to one’s memories and emotions. In a senior living center, there are a couple things to take into consideration when managing facility odors that could invite prospective residents to stay rather than to run the other way.

How could you use scent to your advantage in your senior living facility?

It's all about making odor control a priority and effectively eliminating organic malodors caused by bathroom smells, body malodor, kitchen and cooking smells, or other environmental smells. Here are a couple of things you should do when selecting an odor control product for your facility:

Use a product that eliminates odors rather than masking them.

Odors can be measured two ways - character and intensity. Character can range from pleasant to unpleasant, and intensity can be weak to strong.

Malodors can emanate from soft or hard surfaces including countertops, floors, carpets, drapery, furniture and clothing and can be present even after cleaning and disinfecting all soiled surfaces. Traditional air fresheners work by releasing an aroma that has an intensity that is stronger than the foul odor, essentially “hiding” the smell temporarily. Aside from being an ineffective tactic, a heavily perfumed smell can cause a negative reaction to its character as well. Replacing one odor with another does not eliminate the original odor. When the intensity of the masking odor weakens, the original malodor will re-emerge.

A more effective way to neutralize odors is to use an odor eliminator. An odor eliminator penetrates surfaces and treats the problem at the source then organically eliminates malodors at the molecular level and improves indoor air quality. Also unlike traditional air fresheners, the most effective odor eliminators can continue to provide a subtle fresh fragrance long after initial application.

Choose a product that doesn’t pollute the air.

Aside from only masking malodors, traditional air fresheners release chemicals that pollute the indoor air. Indoor air quality is a health concern for everyone in your facility, but especially for residents with chronic respiratory conditions and weakened immune systems. If your staff uses air fresheners containing harmful chemicals they may cause residents with allergies or compromised respiratory systems to react, worsening their symptoms.

Odor eliminating products containing pure essential oils and pure fragrance oils designed from flowers, seeds, stems, bark, roots, and other various parts of a plant are less likely to act as an irritant. These products are designed to be safe, simple, non-toxic, easy-to-use and cost effective. But most importantly, they eliminate malodors, they do not mask malodors. You can also choose to leave behind a refreshing signature fragrance of your choosing as an added benefit, or go unscented for a clean, fresh environment.

The right fragrances can have a positive impact on a person's mood. However, if prospective residents and their loved ones enter your senior living facility and are greeted with an unpleasant or overwhelming odor, it may give them the immediate (and lasting) impression that your facility is not the best place for them, regardless of the quality of care you provide.

Your staff works hard to provide a clean, safe and more comfortable environment for your residents; don’t let malodor void your efforts. Encompass Group LLC offers the HYscent Air Care Management System, a malodor technology scientifically designed and tested to effectively counteract unpleasant odors and enhance indoor air quality. Call your local Encompass Group representative at 1-800-328-5525 today to learn more about how the HYscent Air Care Management System can help you make a lasting first impression through superior air management technology.


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