Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other senior living facilities all face the same issue of strong incontinence odors that are emitted from many of their residents. According to the Gastroenterol Clinic of North America, incontinence and urine problems are conditions that are known to be affecting over 50 percent of nursing home residents due to the increased risks of these conditions with older age. Incontinence is any accidental or involuntary loss of urine from the bladder or bowel motion – including slight loss of urine after sneezing, coughing, or laughing to complete inability to control all urination functions and releases.

The loss of urinary control in the elderly has become a primary odor issue that is faced in this industry, with many of these nursing homes and senior living facilities searching diligently to integrate effective solutions to aid in both surface and air odor problems in this commercial environment. There are a variety of odor control products that have previously been used in these nursing home’s/senior living facilities including bleach, baking soda, and commercial cleaners pack full of chemical ingredients. However, these solutions do little to actually neutralize and remove those strong, noxious urine odors from the indoor commercial environment and thus allowing it to spread and taint the entire air space of the building.

In this article we are going to learn more about the major issues that nursing home’s face when it comes to resident incontinence and urine problems, along with the best commercial solutions to integrate into this industry to improve the space’s overall odor.

Why Do Nursing Homes Smell

Inside of a nursing home there are an accumulation of odors that can be emitted and produced from a vast number of residents that are in the space. The incontinence dilemma in nursing homes has stirred up major problems with the overall smell that this industry emanates within its facility. Along with the smell of urine, other odors can also form inside these senior living home’s – such as old people smell (nonenal odor) which develops in a person as they reach a certain age in life.

Why Do Nursing Homes SmellIf you have ever walked within the indoor space of a nursing home, you would have often had a first-hand (or should I say nose!) encounter with the strong and distinct odor of what is commonly called “old people smell”. The old people smell is linked to a body odor that is often paired with older individuals who have reached a certain age that will begin this emission of the specific odor from the body. This specific odor is called nonenal odor which is a chemical compound that is produced when skin matures and its natural antioxidant protection decreases, thus resulting in greater oxidation of lipid acids – and when the lipid acids are oxidized it will result in the nonenal odor compound being produced in the body. This chemical odor is often developed as individuals age and is usually described as an unpleasant greasy or grassy odor that those old enough to be in a nursing home will produce from their bodies. The nonenal odor of nursing home residents will linger on fabrics that they come into contact with such as clothing, sheets, and upholstered furniture – and the odor will rage on in this environment as it is known to thrive in a confined space like a nursing home or senior living facility.

Nursing Home Housekeeping Duties

Cleaning the inside of a nursing home is a must when it comes to the vast number of odors and bacteria/viruses that are found present in this environment that will impact the overall indoor air quality. However, when it comes to the job of cleaning the indoor environment of a nursing home, there are several factors that must be considered during this cleaning routine/process. The cleaning products that are used throughout this environment is important to consider as the different chemical cleaning agents are potentially dangerous when used around the residents of a nursing home and thus the cleaners used to clean and deodorize this environment must be carefully considered.

The typical housekeeping duties that must be completed daily, weekly, or monthly may include changing the linens on beds, cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms, washing mirrors, and cleaning all surfaces such as flooring and counters. In addition, proper cleaning will be necessary in rooms where residents have passed away or moved out of to give it an allover sanitation.

Why Do Nursing Homes Smell Like Pee

Why Do Nursing Homes Smell Like PeeThe unmistakable smell of a nursing home will mostly be comprised of the strong and unwanted scent of urine hanging in the air. This will be true in most nursing homes or senior living facilities that house older residents that may be suffering from conditions such as incontinence. The problem with incontinence in nursing homes becomes when several residents begin to experience this condition and thus resulting in the insurmountable aroma of urine that begins to permeate throughout the indoor environment of this senior living care facility.

As we discussed previously, urinary incontinence occurs when an individual loses control of their bladder, and this can vary from slight loss of urine after sneezing, coughing or laughing to a complete inability to control urination in general. Typically, in a nursing home the residents that have an ongoing problem with this condition will be required to wear an adult diaper that will need to be changed frequently to avoid the contamination of urine on clothing and undergarments. Thus, the accumulation of these adult diapers will collect in the environment and will require an effective disposal method for these urine-contaminated absorbent diapers in an effort to control urine odors from permeating in the indoor environment of the nursing home.

Incontinence Management in Nursing Homes

According to research and studies conducted within nursing homes, it was found that immobility and dementia are the most critical factors that contribute to the development of urinary incontinence in nursing home residents. Immobility, in particular, had the greatest impact on the likelihood of incontinence because of their restriction to get to the toilet. Due to the high number of residents in a nursing home facility that are dealing with the urinary incontinence problems, there have been certain management guidelines enabled in these senior living homes to aid in the managing of this problem – specifically odor problems!

The first step used in nursing home’s is having the workers in this space approach the residents with these issues every 2 hours to ask if they are wet or dry, and additionally the residents are prompted up to three times to request assistance. This helps to avoid residents sitting in their own urine for long periods of time, while also helping to eliminate developing urine odors throughout the facility.

Cleaning Clothes for Elderly Residents with Incontinence Odors

Cleaning Clothes for Elderly Residents with IncontinenceThe high volume of nursing home residents that are suffering from conditions like incontinence has been averaged to be nearly 60 percent of those living in these senior living facilities and is among one of the top reasons’ individuals are admitted into these care facilities. When someone loses the ability to control their bladder it will lead to the smelly, and difficult process of washing those fabrics that have become tainted by unexpected releases of urine on the material(s). Washing clothes in a nursing home is something that happens daily and will require the use of commercial laundry products to help clean, sanitize, and deodorize the materials completely – as there can be a variety of odors, germs, bacteria/viruses, and dirt that can accumulate on the clothing fabric.

When it comes to the removal of urine from the residents clothing and linens, the usual detergent that is used for each laundry load may be ineffective at neutralizing the strong, persisting odor of urine. Thus, nursing homes have turned to alternative laundry care solutions for odor neutralization – that are strong enough to remove the chemical odor of urine from the material. The OdorKlenz Laundry Additive is a powerful laundry additive that is designed to attack those odor causing compounds on the fibers of clothing and linens by capturing, containing, and neutralizing the odorous compounds upon contact. OdorKlenz utilizes a proprietary earth mineral technology that is both safe to use and effective, without the use of any chemicals or masking agents.

Nursing Home Commercial Incontinence Odor Eliminator for Indoor Air

The indoor air quality in a nursing home can be an integral part of the safety within this indoor space for its elderly residents. Indoor air contaminants and pollutants such as chemicals, odors, and fine particulate matter can all have a potentially adverse reaction when elderly people are exposed to these pollutants in their indoor air. Elderly people, in comparison to other individuals, are usually at a higher risk of exacerbating diseases and illnesses through the exposure to airborne contaminants due to their already compromised health.

Additionally, nursing homes can also accumulate an odor within the indoor air space, which can be a mix of nonenal odors, along with urine odors from incontinence residents, and these odors can create an unpleasant aroma in this commercial space that the owners will want to quickly retract from the air. Thus, the best solution to these indoor air quality and odor problems in a nursing home is through the integration of commercial indoor air solutions for pollutant and odor mitigation.

OdorKlenz Odor Solution for Nursing Home Smells

OdorKlenz Air PurifierThe OdorKlenz® engineered commercial air filter and purification product is a revolutionary indoor air quality solution(s) for most commercial environments including nursing homes and other senior living facilities. These engineered air quality solutions are effective for odor control and mitigation, along with the neutralization of chemical compounds in the air. OdorKlenz has created these products to be easily integrated into any air handling system and even placed as stand-alone units in senior living facilities. The proprietary OdorKlenz® materials consist of safe, earth minerals that allow for containment and neutralization of a broad spectrum of noxious and toxic chemicals and odors from an indoor environment. This OdorKlenz® earth mineral materials have been created to be highly efficient “adsorptive neutralizers” for chemicals making them not only competitively advantageous, but very commercially attractive.

The OdorKlenz Mobile Air System is a stand-alone air purifier that contains a two-stage filtration process; noxious and toxic chemical and odor neutralization, along with HEPA filtration for fine particulate removal. The first stage is the OdorKlenz Air Cartridge that contains the OdorKlenz earth minerals within it to give the cartridge the ability to neutralize noxious and toxic chemicals and odors – including urine odors and nonenal odors. The second stage is the Hospital-Grade HEPA Filter for fine particulate removal larger than 0.3 microns in size at a 99.99 percent efficiency – this will include small allergens in the air that can exacerbate allergy and asthma symptoms.

Air for HVAC Filter

The OdorKlenz-Air Cartridge for HVAC systems eliminates pollutants, odors and corrosive gasses associated with indoor air quality problems without releasing chemicals, fragrances, or masking agents back into the environment. The cartridges install right into your system and treat the air as your system is running and begins to immediately improve indoor air quality the moment installed. 

Technology originally designed for chemical warfare decontamination

Patented Earth Mineral Technology works to attack the VOC and break down on a compound level.

Can be incorporated into an existing air handling system (HVAC) and configurations, or used in portable/mobile air filtration systems

No chemicals or masking agents

Will not release any chemicals back into your environment

Offers superior performance when compared to commercially available counterparts

Comes in a variety of custom sizes and depths