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4 Home Toxins Family Caregivers Should Watch Out For

By , 9:00 am on

Many households are filled with dangerous vapors and contagions. Regularly cleaning your aging loved one’s home will remove some of those toxins, but there could still be lingering contaminants in hidden spaces. Here are four allergens, carcinogens, and germs all caregivers should be aware of and a few steps that can be taken to get rid of them. 

1. Radon

The idea of having dangerous radioactive materials in a home might sound far-fetched, but you probably come into contact with radon almost every day. Researchers now know radon is the result of microscopic uranium molecules breaking down over time. Once radon has been created, it will settle in areas such as basements and closed off bedrooms. There are many ways to remove radon from a home, including proper ventilation and the use of specialty filters. The easiest way to test for radon is to purchase a handful of radon testing kits from a local home improvement center. You can then send those testing kits off to a lab to determine how much radon is in your loved one’s home. 

Removing toxins from the home can be a challenging task, especially if you’re caring for an elderly relative at the same time. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Phoenix, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.    

2. Asbestos

If your loved one lives in an older house, consider hiring an inspector who specializes in asbestos testing. The carcinogen has been linked to a wide variety of cancers, including mesothelioma and cancer of the larynx. Asbestos is usually found in older electrical wires and rolls of insulation. To test the home for asbestos, the inspector will most likely need to take samples of those materials and then have them checked at a lab. One of the most effective ways to get rid of asbestos is to remove the material entirely, but you also have the option of spraying a sealant over dangerous wires, walls, or insulation. 

3. Black Mold

Also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, black mold is one of the most dangerous toxins that can be found in a home. Homeowners generally find black mold in areas that are warm and humid, such as under sinks and around water heaters. Many types of mold resemble black mold, and the only way to tell if this contaminant is in your home is to have an expert examine a sample under a microscope. Exposure to black mold can result in a variety of symptoms, including headaches, inflammation, rashes, and nausea. Over the course of a few years, black mold can cause permanent organ damage as well. 

From frequent headaches to general weakness, older adults are at risk for an array of health issues. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Phoenix families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

4. Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is created when stoves, heaters, and ignition systems don’t fully burn their fuel. Most cases of carbon monoxide poisoning occur when older appliances aren’t properly maintained and the nearby sensors no longer work properly. The first line of defense against carbon monoxide poisoning involves installing a network of high-quality CO sensors throughout the home. These sensors should be tested at least once a month, and the batteries might need to be changed as often as once every six months. Some of the symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, and confusion.

Removing toxins from the home is just one of the many ways older adults can maintain a high quality of life. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elderly care. Phoenix, AZ, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To find out how our home care services can benefit your elderly loved one, give us a call at 602.388.1085 today.