In 2015, the CDC reported there were almost 400 deaths from carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide detectors can help eliminate many of these poisonings. The EP reports there are about 15,000 ER visits due to exposure to carbon monoxide. Senior citizens have a higher risk of poisoning because of chronic health conditions like respiratory illness and heart disease.
Statistics show that despite the early warnings carbon monoxide detectors provide, about 1 in 3 homes have them. It’s essential that your parent has one. A clean, inspected heating system isn’t enough to keep them safe. Here are some of the more unusual ways people have become the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Car Left On After Parking in the Garage
A number of carbon monoxide poisonings happen when people park their car in the garage and don’t realize they forgot to turn off the engine. Keyless ignitions don’t require a key, so seniors don’t realize that exiting the car with the key fob isn’t always enough. Some cars have warning signals. Some will turn off the engine after 30 minutes but not all do.
Gas Powered Equipment Used Near Ventilation Systems
Using a gas powered generator or other equipment outside is the goal. If it’s used too closely to ventilation systems, it can draw carbon monoxide into the air intake. This happened in a Vermont apartment building for seniors. A gas-powered pressure washer was emitting carbon monoxide that went right into the air intake and into the residential building.
Indoor Grills as a Cooking Source
While it should be common sense that you don’t use a grill indoors, some people figure an outdoor balcony is good. They head outside to grill and leave the door open. If there’s no breeze to carry away the carbon monoxide, fumes can enter through the door to the balcony. The grill being outside isn’t enough of the balcony is sheltered by walls and a roof or ceiling.
Make Sure Someone is Testing That Detector
You must make sure your mom and dad’s carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. If batteries are weak, replace them. If there is no detector, install one.
If you don’t live close enough, look into senior care. Your parent can have a caregiver stopping by to help with the more difficult daily activities of living. Caregivers can also routinely test carbon monoxide detectors and alert you if anything seems off. Learn more. Call a senior care agency now.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering senior care in Cinnaminson, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.
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