September is National Food Safety Education Month. As a family caregiver, this is the ideal opportunity for you to educate yourself and your senior loved one about the importance of food safety, and to implement food safety strategies into your daily routine. Many people only think about food safety when it comes to warm-weather activities such as picnics and cookouts, or large-scale contamination that leads to food recalls. It is important to realize, however, that food safety is something everyone should think about, even with in their own homes. Most cases of foodborne illness actually occur in the home, as opposed to in a restaurant setting, and you can make a tremendous difference in protecting your senior’s health and well-being simply by understanding of food safety, and practicing it on a daily basis.
Some things you should know about food safety include:
- There are more than 250 recognized foodborne diseases
- Most of these illnesses are actually infections caused by parasites, viruses, or bacteria
- Chemicals and toxins can also lead to foodborne infections
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 48 million people throughout the United States experience foodborne infection each year
- Approximately 128,000 people in the United States each year are hospitalized due to foodborne illness or infection
- Each year approximately 3000 people in the United States die as a result of foodborne illness or infection
- Elderly adults are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of foodborne illness or infection due to their tendency to have lower, less effective immune systems than younger people
- Elderly adults may be more likely to get foodborne illness and infection due to limitations such as cognitive functioning decline, and sensory loss
Simply because your senior is getting older does not mean they are not able to live the highest quality of life as they age in place. As a family caregiver, it is your responsibility to take the steps necessary to help them manage their needs and challenges, while also pursuing an active, independent, and fulfilling lifestyle. Starting elderly care for them can be one of the most effective and meaningful ways you can do this. An elderly home care services provider can offer your aging parent a wide range of services specifically designed to help them cope with their challenges, and manage their needs in the ways that are right for them according to their lifestyle, preferences, and goals. These services will also help your parent to enjoy more independence and activity on their own terms, boosting their sense of autonomy, and making your schedule more flexible.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDERLY CARE IN KNIGHTDALE, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.
Kathy is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) who is active in several other senior related organizations, including Alzheimer’s State Champion program, Friends of the Northern Wake Senior Center board member, Ambassador for the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce, Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), Health Affairs Round Table (HART), and Senior Information Networking Group (SING).