People over 65 need to take special care to reduce their chances of contracting foodborne illness (i.e. food poisoning). Fortunately, home health aides for senior citizens can help. Although food in the U.S. is usually very safe, food that has started to go bad or has been in a refrigerator too long may carry bacteria that could cause illness in anyone, but that is particularly dangerous for the elderly.
Older people process toxins in their body more slowly than younger people, so bacteria stay in their body longer. In addition, older people may have weaker immune systems, due either to chronic conditions or medications. Because seniors tend to live alone or with an elderly spouse, food may often sit in the refrigerator longer and even go bad. Their lack of mobility and a normal concern about the budget on a fixed retirement income can contribute to the problem.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 48 million Americans become ill each year from foodborne illnesses. As many as 128,000 people are hospitalized annually, and 3,000 of those foodborne illnesses become fatal. Many of those affected are senior citizens or children.
Here’s where a home health aide can help. As people age, their memory may gradually deteriorate and they may lose some of the acuity of smell and taste they once had. Smell and taste are the ways people can easily tell if food is no longer safe to eat. If an elderly parent, relative, or friend is dealing with a diminishment in those senses, a home senior care aide can examine fruits, vegetables, and meats to see if they are still fresh.
A home health aide who helps prepare food or provides company can be a safeguard against food poisoning. At David York Agency, we offer a number of home healthcare services to help ensure your elderly loved one gets the care and nutrition they need. Whether you just need someone to come over a few days a week to help prepare fresh, healthy meals or you need a full-time home healthcare assistant, we can help.
For more information about our qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.