What's underfoot makes all the difference in the world to residents at The Suites at Poplar Creek. They just don't know it. As seniors play games in the dining area, attend exercise classes or simply move from room to room, they're not thinking about the importance of the carpet and backing system.
Located in LaGrange, Georgia, Poplar Creek offers assisted living, memory impairment care, and respite care in an intimate but upscale setting. It combines all the services and amenities of large assisted living facilities, but with the graciousness of Southern hospitality. To accommodate all the activities and the lifestyle of residents, Poplar Creek management carefully selected a high-performance modular carpet made locally by Milliken.
The three-foot modular tiles backed with Comfort Plus® using polyurethane technology from The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) were originally chosen when the facility was built in 1998. Because this carpet matched the facility's needs so well, it was again specified when it came time to replace the carpet.
"An assisted living facility is like a country club with a medical twist, whose members have moved in. So, the carpet we use must be stylish yet tough. It's what you don't see about the carpet that makes it the right choice for this setting," says Poplar Creek owner Ramsey Jennings, in reference to its backing system.
The cushioned ComfortPlus® backing made with ENHANCER™ Technology is important for several reasons. "It provides comfort for both staff and residents, and there is no slippage of the tiles that might create hazards," according to Jennings. "Installation via glue down to a concrete slab foundation was simple; no additional padding beneath the carpet was needed. And perhaps most importantly, the cushioned backing does not allow urine or spills to collect in the padding or seep through to the foundation, which helps minimize odors."
Home to both active seniors as well as those with disabilities, Poplar Creek needed a flooring that would help with a wide variety of assisted living facility issues. The carpet and backing system have an impact on the comfort and mobility of residents as well as employees. Compared with hard surfaces, cushioned carpet backed with polyurethane technology from Dow, helps reduce the chance of slips and falls, which is a major concern at any assisted living facility.
At the same time, it allows for wheeled mobility and reduces leg fatigue. "Our employees are on their feet for their entire shift so a cushioned backing system makes perfect sense," says Jennings.
Besides offering comfort and support underfoot, the carpet and backing system withstood the constant rearranging of furniture, stains, spills and more. "It has proven extremely durable, and the use of tiles allowed us to replace soiled/stained tiles with new ones for a fresh appearance," explains Jennings.
The full social life available for residents means the carpet must adjust to furniture being moved to transform the dining hall into a performance hall, exercise room or simply a gathering spot for parties, games, and arts and crafts.
Dow's polyurethane backing technology addresses this issue by reducing the carpet's crushing and matting over time, recovering 90 percent or more of its thickness once heavy furniture is removed.
As the "aging in place" trend accelerates, so does wheelchair and walker use. Dow technology helps reduce the likelihood of carpet delamination, which can be a problem in intensive use situations like rolling traffic. Constant foot and rolling traffic can also cause carpet to pill and fuzz—a problem that is significantly diminished with the addition of the ComfortPlus® backing.
To further extend the carpet's appearance, polyurethane carpet backing technology from Dow includes a functional liquid barrier—a key benefit for Poplar Creek to help avoid odor buildup. When carpet is backed with Dow's polyurethane technology, polymers containing hydrophobic segments impede liquid and dirt from penetrating the subfloor, thereby reducing the occurrence of wick back staining and odors. Plus it allows for aggressive maintenance programs including hot water extraction. This means Poplar Creek management is able to maintain the look and feel of the carpet even when it's subjected to constant messes like spills in the dining hall, ground-in food and dirt, and pet accidents.
All this adds up to carpet that has aged well for Poplar Creek residents and management alike. When seniors can enjoy active lives and employees can go about the business of care giving, it's evident that the carpet has made an important (if somewhat unnoticed) difference at Poplar Creek.