If you’re looking after elderly loved ones, their well-being is top of mind every day. However, no matter how vigilant you are, even the most conscientious caregivers can overlook potentially lethal household hazards. If your loved one is living in an older home, the following hazards are especially likely to be present.
An odorless, colorless gas, carbon monoxide is almost impossible to detect without a carbon monoxide alarm. Prevent headaches, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, and even death from carbon monoxide poisoning by investing in an alarm for your loved one’s home.
Like carbon monoxide, radon is a colorless, odorless gas. This naturally occurring gas is the second most common cause of lung cancer deaths in the U.S., second only to smoking. The only way to know if your home has dangerous amounts of radon is by using a radon test kit. Pick up radon test kits at your local hardware store.
Everyone knows that asbestos is bad for you, but many don’t realize they may have asbestos in their homes. Asbestos can still be found in ceiling tiles, floor tiles, and insulation in many homes across the U.S. When asbestos fibers start to degrade, they can get into the air. Inhaled over time, these fibers can cause lung disease. If you think your loved one’s home may have asbestos, it’s well worth the money to have an asbestos professional inspect your home.
Lead is most notorious for its presence in paint, but it can also be in plumbing and other building materials. Lead is typically safe unless it’s digested.
Smoke detectors are only effective if they’re in working order and near the fire. Be sure to check your loved one’s smoke detector batteries each month and replace the batteries twice a year. Many families make it a point to change batteries when the clock changes to and from Daylight Savings Time, but you can do it whenever it suits you. Also, make sure you have smoke alarms throughout your loved one’s home, not just in the kitchen.
Questions about caring for an elderly loved one? Takacs McGinnis Elder Care Law can help. Just give us a call at 615.824.2571.