Accidental poisoning is a serious risk for elderly adults, particularly those who take multiple medications or who are living with cognitive functioning decline. While many people think of poisoning as only ingesting substances that are not meant for human consumption, such as chemicals or animal poisons, these are not the only ways that your parent could experience accidental poisoning. In fact, the leading cause of accidental poisoning among elderly adults is therapeutic error. This includes taking medications incorrectly, combining medications incorrectly, overdosing, or taking the wrong medications. As a family caregiver, it is extremely important to be aware of all types of accidental poisoning risk so that you can help your parent to prevent them and say safer as they age in place.
Use these tips to help your senior avoid accidental poisoning:
- Store medications out of sight until it is time for your parent to take them
- Keep all original medication containers and inserts for valuable information
- Avoid giving your parent vitamins that closely resemble their medications
- Avoid using cleaners that have fruit smells or that resemble juice or other drinks
- Avoid shampoos or body washes that have fruit smells as a senior with cognitive functioning decline might mistake them for a consumable substance
- Avoid storing cleaners and other chemicals in the kitchen
- Avoid using solid potpourri or air fresheners that resemble candy and that could confuse your parent
- Avoid putting artificial fruit or other decorative items that resemble food or candy on display
- Keep over-the-counter medications out of sight so that your parent does not accidentally overdose
If your aging parent has recently been diagnosed with a new health challenge or other issue, their needs have increased to the point that you are no longer able to handle them effectively, your schedule has changed and you are no longer able to be with them as much as you need, or you simply feel that they would benefit from more diversified care, now may be the ideal time for you to start home care for them. An in-home senior care services provider can be there for your parent when it is best for them and their needs, as well as the amount of care that you give them. This means that they can pursue a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, independent, and fulfilling as possible as they age in place. For you, knowing that they have access to this care can ease your stress and help you to feel more confident about your parent’s health and well-being throughout their later years.
If you or an aging senior are considering hiring in-home care services in Frisco, TX, please contact the caring staff at Ray of Sunshine today! (940) 442-5374.