Poor housing conditions can cause an array of health problems especially for the elderly who spend most of their time indoors. Mediocre air and water quality inside the home can pose serious implications to the health of aging adults including respiratory issues and other chronic ailments. Find out how we can identify the different household hazards in order to make the home of an elderly a safe sanctuary that is free of risks.
Common Health Issues Faced by Older Adults in Their Own Home
Caregivers always strive to create a safe and comfortable living environment for their loved ones. They properly label medications, remove tripping hazards and monitor other visible threats that may pose different hazards. What about threats that are not noticeable? The following are several household hazards that can cause health complications to aging adults and what we can do to protect our loved ones.
Radon is an odorless, invisible, and tasteless gas. It has been found in numerous homes across the country and its exposure is a known risk factor for lung cancer. We may not be able to see, smell, or taste radon but it can cause detrimental effects to our health. Home radon test kits are available over the counter to monitor and warn about hazardous radon levels.
Carbon monoxide is another odorless, invisible, and tasteless gas that is a health hazard. Carbon monoxide poisoning requires medical treatment that can cause symptoms like headache, weakness, confusion, and blurred vision. For severe cases, it may also cause brain damage, loss of consciousness, or even death. Always ensure that the home is properly ventilated to reduce the buildup of toxins indoors. Carbon monoxide detectors are also available for consumer purchase to detect unhealthy levels of the gas.
Mold is a very common problem for homes that experience water leaks or are typically humid due to the weather. Most molds do not cause illness but there are harmful and toxic molds that can cause health complications. Address any conditions that may cause mold to prevent a mold infestation.
Rodents, roaches, and other pests are not just a disturbing sight. They can transport harmful viruses and bacteria into the home and cause a person to fall ill. The elderly unable to perform housekeeping by themselves are the most vulnerable to pest infestations. If there is a need to, hire professional exterminators to get rid of unwanted pests.
Poor Water Quality
Most tap water in the country is safe to drink but occasional problems in the piping system may affect a person’s health. Some older homes may have lead pipes which can cause lead poisoning. Houses that have wells with dirty filters may cause unwanted minerals, chemicals, and even bacteria to build up in the home’s water supply. Test the water and install filters for better water quality.
Aging adults who frequently experience symptoms like watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing or coughing at home may be affected by allergens. Identify the sources of allergens and remove them to alleviate the said symptoms. This can help aging adults to live more comfortably in their own homes.