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Is Your Elderly Loved One at Risk of Poisoning?

Elderly Care in Winchester MA

Danger SignFor many people, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of poisoning is intentionally administering a poison such as arsenic or a potentially lethal substance such as antifreeze to another person. While this does happen, this does not account for the vast majority of poisoning cases. Most poisoning that occurs is accidental, but this can still put your aging parent at serious risk. This is especially true if they are suffering from cognitive limitations such as Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia due to the confusion, disorientation, and lack of judgment this disease can cause.

It is important to realize that the term “poison” is not only applied to substances that are intended to be dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “a poison is any substance, including medications, that is harmful to the body if too much is eaten, inhaled, injected, or absorbed through the skin.” An unintentional poisoning occurs when someone unknowingly ingests or comes into contact with a substance that they did not know was harmful, or that they did not realize was harmful in the amount that they ingested.

Some things that you should know about unintentional poisoning and how it might impact your aging parent include:

  • Approximately 4 percent of total injuries among elderly adults are due to unintentional poisoning.
  • The number of injuries due to unintentional poisoning among older adults has increased by approximately 6┬ápercent since 2000.
  • More older adults are injured each year throughout the United States due to unintentional poisoning than fires.
  • 4.7 of every 100,000 deaths among adults between the ages of 65 and 74 were caused by unintentional poisoning .
  • 2.8 of every 100,000 deaths among adults between the ages of 75 and 84 were caused by unintentional poisoning.
  • 3.7 of every 100,000 deaths among adults aged 85 and older were caused by unintentional poisoning.
  • Deaths due to unintentional poisoning are higher among non-Hispanic blacks than Non-Hispanic whites or Hispanics.
  • Deaths due to unintentional poisoning are lowest among Hispanics.
  • Deaths from drug overdose have been increasing for the last two decades. This is one of the most common forms of unintentional poisoning, particularly among older adults who are far more likely than younger people to be taking more than one type of medication at a time and who may confuse their medications or not understand how to take the properly.

If you are concerned that your aging parent is at increased risk of poisoning, it may be the ideal time for you to consider elderly care for them. Poisoning can happen extremely quickly, but the personalized care and support of a non-medical caregiver can prevent these devastating accidents from happening. Being with your parent when you are not in the home with them, ensuring that proper safety measures are in place and adhered to, and offering responsible medication reminders can dramatically decrease the chances that your parent will fall victim to poisoning.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Worcester, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (508) 917-6649