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How Mold in the Home Affects Health

Everyone is familiar with mold. You might be most familiar with it as the stuff that grows on the food you forgot in the back of the refrigerator. But, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold is everywhere, and it has been for millions of years. Mold thrives in damp environments. Unfortunately, that means it sometimes grows in wet areas of the home where it can adversely affect your aging relative’s health.

September is Mold Awareness Month, a time to learn more about this icky substance and why it’s important to get rid of it.

Home Care Services Hunterdon NJ - How Mold in the Home Affects Health

Home Care Services Hunterdon NJ – How Mold in the Home Affects Health

Health Effects of Mold

Whether or not mold has a harmful effect on your aging relative depends on whether they are sensitive to it or not. People who have a mold sensitivity may experience symptoms like:

  • Stuffy nose.
  • Scratchy, irritated throat.
  • Coughing.
  • Wheezing.
  • Irritated eyes.
  • Skin rashes.

People with asthma may also have health problems because of mold. Exposure to mold can make asthma symptoms flare up and trigger an asthma attack. Some symptoms of asthma are:

  • Coughing.
  • Wheezing.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • A feeling of tightness in the chest.

Preventing Mold Growth Indoors

Mold grows in damp areas, so the key to preventing it from growing in your aging relative’s home is reducing moisture and ensuring proper air flow. The CDC offers the following tips for prevention:

  • Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep moisture levels in the house to 50 percent or below.
  • Install exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom that carry moisture outside. Also, make sure the clothes dryer vents outside.
  • Fix leaks as soon as you notice them.
  • If the house floods, clean and dry it within 24-48 hours.
  • Use bathroom cleaning products that kill mold.
  • Get rid of carpets or rugs that have been soaked if you cannot dry them out. Remove carpeting from wet areas of the home, like the bathroom and basement.
  • Keep doors between rooms open to improve air flow.
  • Don’t leave wet clothes in the dryer or in a laundry basket.

An home care services provider can assist with mold prevention. Home care services providers can empty the dehumidifier when it gets full. They can also make sure exhaust fans are turned on during cooking and after the older adult takes a bath or shower. Home care services providers can also let family caregivers know if they spot a leak, so it can be fixed promptly.

Sources:  https://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm

https://www.webmd.com/women/mold-mildew#1

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mold-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20351519

https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-and-health

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Home Care Services in Hunterdon NJ, please talk to the caring staff at Generations Home Health Care today. Providing Home Care in Somerset, Essex, Union, Morris and Hunterdon Counties. Call us today at (908) 290-0691 or (973) 241-4534.

Susan Myer, RN, BSN, CCRN, CDP

Susan is the Co-Owner of Generations Home HealthCare and has 35 years of business experience and entrepreneurship. For the last 10 years she has been a Registered Nurse working at St. Luke’s Hospital (Bethlehem, PA) in the Neuro/Trauma Unit and as a critical care nurse at Hunterdon Medical Center. She has a B.S. from Rutgers University and a BSN from Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA.Susan is currently in the process of obtaining her Master’s in Gerontology. Susan is married, has 2 children and 2 grandchildren.

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