Mold comes in many forms, some of which are toxic. These toxic molds are often found hidden in homes. Mold in a home poses health risks for anyone who lives in the home, including pets. Elderly people are amongst the ones who are most likely to suffer ill effects from the presence of mold.
As people age, their immune systems may weaken. Those that already have immune systems that are compromised are in greater danger of the health risks of mold than those that have been healthy most of their lives. But the facts are that elderly people are going to need protection from toxic molds in order to not be affected by them.
Where is Mold Found?
Where there are oxygen and moisture, there may be mold. Mold must have moisture to grow which means anywhere moisture sits and accumulates can be a breeding ground for mold.
Within homes, mold can be found in the walls, carpet, attic, basement, flooring, inside cabinets especially under sinks.
Elderly people who are living in older homes may be at further risk. Older homes may be more prone to hidden leaks and inadequate ventilation than newer homes.
What Are the Health Risks to Elderly People?
Mold may present a risk when it comes in contact with skin. Mold spores that are inhaled are the cause of most health hazards. Ingesting mold is a third potential risk.
Elderly people may develop mild to severe conditions from exposure to mold. Some things to watch for include:
- Respiratory problems such as wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, asthma attacks
- Skin irritation
- Flu-like symptoms
- Poisonous effects
- Neurological effects
It's important to realize that the symptoms mentioned are not exclusive to mold exposure. However, if mold is thought to be present in the home, medical professionals should be informed.
What Can Be Done to Locate and Eliminate Mold?
Older people are more susceptible to reactions from mold, and may develop serious issues quicker than those who are younger. With this in mind, it becomes crucial to locate and eliminate mold in the home of someone who is elderly. The best way to find mold is by hiring a professional. There are companies that specialize in mold both locating and remedying it.
Should dangerous mold be found in a home; action should be taken to have it removed as soon as possible. Prolonged exposure to mold can become very dangerous for anyone, but especially older people.
Once the mold is removed, the home should continue to be inspected by professionals on a routine basis. Residents, their caretakers, and family should be sure to tend to all leaks in a timely manner. If the home is located in an area that has high humidity, a dehumidifier can be very helpful in removing moisture from the environment.
The good news is that elderly people can be protected from health issues resulting from mold. With awareness and action, mold problems can be eliminated.