Valley Journal Advertiser

Long-term care homes part of ‘cutting-edge’ study

Windsor Elms, Northwood participat­ing in 18-month far-UVC light research project


Two Nova Scotia nursing homes are about to take part in an 18-month study to help researcher­s determine if ultraviole­t light reduces illness.

With Nova Scotia having the highest per capita population of seniors in the country, researcher­s say investing in solutions to help long-term care facilities is an important healthy aging strategy here and around the world.

“The pandemic has had a particular impact on older adults, especially those with underlying health conditions,” said lead researcher Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, with Nova Scotia Health’s division of geriatric medicine, in a press release.

“We want to see if farUVC light can kill airborne viral transmissi­ons, including the SARS CoV-2 virus, in long-term care facilities.”

Northwood’s Halifax campus and Windsor Elms Village in Falmouth are both taking part in the study.

The researcher­s hope to determine if the rates of influenza-like illnesses and respirator­y infections decrease due to the far-UVC light.

Susan Hayes, the chief executive officer at the Windsor Elms Village, is excited her facility is participat­ing.

“There is evidence in lots of studies around ultraviole­t lights and the ability to eliminate virus, but there’s never been a qualitativ­e and quantitati­ve study that looks specifical­ly at the long-term care setting,” said Hayes in a Zoom interview.

The informatio­n researcher­s gather at the Elms may help shape health and safety features at long-term care homes and other institutio­nalized settings in the future.

“If you think about our residents, a large number of our residents have a form of dementia,” said Hayes.

“Masking, social distancing, being wary of what you touch and washing your hands, those things can be really challengin­g for that population. The hope is that by using these lower levels of ultraviole­t light that it will… take away some of those risks for this at-risk population,” she said.

The study is anticipate­d to last two flu seasons, or about 18 months.


Since COVID-19 arrived in Canada, long-term care facilities have been ramping up efforts to keep residents and employees safe.

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