A small but growing body of literature indicates that concentrations of indoor particulate and gaseous pollutants in long-term care facilities (i.e., skilled nursing facilities) for older adults, hereafter referred to nursing homes, often exceed those recorded in nearby, comparable outdoor environments. Unlike the outdoors, indoor air quality (IAQ) in nursing homes is not regulated by legislation and is seldom monitored. To that end, residents of nursing homes commonly spend the vast majority of their time indoors where they are exposed to indoor air pollutants for long periods of time. Given that many nursing home residents, especially those of advanced age, are more susceptible to the effects of air pollutants, even at low concentrations, this prolonged exposure may adversely affect their health, well-being, quality of life and increase medical expenditures due to frequent, unscheduled acute care visits and hospitalizations. We propose an action plan for assessing IAQ in nursing homes, understanding the impacts of IAQ on adverse health outcomes of nursing home residents, and addressing vulnerabilities in these facilities to safeguard health, well-being, and quality of life of nursing home residents and minimizing unscheduled acute care visits and hospitalizations. We propose that IAQ should be regularly monitored in nursing homes to proactively identify and address vulnerabilities in these facilities and that resources should be provided for remedial interventions to improve IAQ in nursing homes, including but not limited to source control, improving ventilation and filtration, and deploying air cleaners where appropriate. This proactive approach may pave the way for establishing enforceable standards for indoor air quality in nursing homes that will promote health, well-being, and quality of life of nursing home residents and reduce medical expenditures.Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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