As sustainability is the word on everyone’s lips, we look into how considering sustainable practices can contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of residents.

In the ever-evolving landscape of care, care homes stand as sanctuaries for those in need of specialised support and attention. While the primary focus has always been on the wellbeing of residents, a paradigm shift towards sustainable practices is emerging as a transformative force in shaping the future of elderly care. 

Recognising the profound impact of sustainability on the health and happiness of residents, care homes are increasingly adopting eco-friendly initiatives and green strategies. This article explores how the integration of sustainable practices in care homes goes beyond environmental responsibility, becoming a powerful catalyst for enhancing the overall health and wellbeing of residents.

As the world grapples with the consequences of climate change and environmental degradation, the healthcare sector, including care homes, is realising the crucial role it plays in contributing to sustainable solutions. 

“Eco-friendly living involves the conservation of natural resources such as water.”

Sustainable practices such as using eco-friendly building materials and ventilation systems contribute to better indoor air quality. Cleaner air can enhance respiratory health, reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses, and improve overall comfort for residents.

Overall design of a home can hugely impact a resident’s wellbeing with large windows and access to outdoor green spaces contributing massively to their overall mood and mental state. Exposure to natural light has been linked to improved happiness, sleep quality, and vitamin D levels, while green spaces provide opportunities for relaxation and social interaction.

Along with design, nutritious and locally sourced meals within a care home can present a plethora of benefits. Emphasising sustainable and locally sourced food options not only supports the environment but also promotes better nutrition for residents. Fresh, locally produced foods often have higher nutritional value, contributing to overall physical health and vitality.

Implementing energy-efficient technologies and practices not only reduces the carbon footprint of care homes but also lowers operational costs. These cost savings can then be redirected towards improving resident care and amenities, indirectly contributing to their overall wellbeing.

A hugely reputable sustainable solution comes from Waterless. For the past 15 years, the brand has strived to provide UK made, innovative, sustainable and eco solutions for patient care, which is traditionally very wasteful. The company specialises in bathing alternatives which vastly reduce waste, energy consumption and the need for water. For example, their Nilaqua wipes are biodegradable, our skin cleansing foams are dual use for all over the body and incontinence, better yet they are aerosol free and last longer. 

Jessica Efford, Managing Director at Waterless, explained that to support the benefits of Nilaqua, the team have put the product on the chopping block to improve formulations and consumer usage wherever possible. 

Nilaqua has completed several trials with the NHS to show the huge cost savings in nursing time, energy efficiency and massive improvement to patient satisfaction and care. 

“Our latest trial with Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust shows that you are saving on cost ‘in use’ for showering, by reducing energy consumption. There are also clinical benefits such as reducing matted hair and secondary infection. Nilaqua also helps to look after future generations and should have the aim to reduce energy consumption – eco-friendly living involves the conservation of natural resources such as water, energy, and raw materials.”

Working with sustainable brands can effectively boost the reputation of a care home. When looking at global greenhouse gases, carbon appears to be the number one contributor to climate change, meaning it is therefore much more important to opt for manufacturers based in the same country. 

“Opting for sustainable UK made brands within your care home, you are also supporting the local economy, providing UK standard quality products and driving sustainable care. It is shown that a lot of people really care about the planet and rightly so. We believe this is a factor when choosing a care home, so by publicising this, you are demonstrating that you will care for their loved ones and for the environment,” said Jessica.

In summary, integrating sustainable practices into care homes goes beyond environmental benefits; it positively influences the physical, mental, and emotional health of residents, creating a more supportive and nurturing living environment.