"What Can You Do to Reduce the Risk of Poisoning? "

"Each year throughout the United States approximately 4 percent of the injuries suffered by adults aged 65 or older are caused by unintentional poisoning. This is a very serious risk that causes more injuries and deaths than fires. Understanding this risk and taking steps to reduce it can help protect your parent from serious injuries and illnesses potentially caused by poisoning.

Some things that you can do to reduce the risk of poisoning for your aging parent include:
•  Understand poison. Many people have the idea that poison is a dangerous substance that is specifically designed to cause harm to humans, animals, plants, or insects. This, however, is not the case. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define poison as any substance that can cause harm if too much of it gets into the body. This includes medications and other products intended for use on or in the body. It also means that poisoning can occur through all means of entry into the body, including inhaling, eating, drinking, absorption through skin, or injection. Understanding this helps you to better clarify your parent's risk and take the appropriate steps to minimize it.

•  Remove confusing substances. If your aging parent is suffering from Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, go through their home and look for items that might confuse them and potentially lead to unintentional poisoning. This could be cleaning chemicals that look like a juice drink, body products that smell like fruit, air fresheners or potpourri that looks like candy, or artificial decorative foods.

•  Offer medication reminders. Many elderly adults are suffering from more than one type of medical issue or health condition necessitating treatment. This means that your aging parent might be taking more than one type of medication on a daily basis. This can be confusing for anyone, but especially so for an older adult. Your parent might take the wrong medication at the wrong time, take too much of a medication, combine medications inappropriately, or take medications with other substances that they should not. Offering medication reminders empowers your aging parent to remain in control and responsible for their medication and treatment compliance, while also helping to ensure that they stay safe and healthy.

•  Consider elderly care. If you are concerned about your parent's risk of poisoning, or have simply noticed behaviors and other symptoms that make you concerned about their health and wellbeing, elderly care can help. An elderly home care services provider can be with your parent on the fully customizable schedule that is right for your parent and for you. They can develop a personalized approach to your parent's care that takes into consideration not just their needs and challenges, but also their individuality, personal preferences, and goals for their care. This can give your parent supervision, companionship, guidance, and medication reminders that help them to avoid dangers throughout their home and stay safe and healthy, while also pursuing as active and independent a lifestyle as possible..  "

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