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Elder Care – Food Safety for Senior Adults

Elder Care in Gilbert, AZ – Food Safety for Senior Adults

Practicing food safety is vital to the health of older Americans. Every year there are 76 million people who becomeElder Care Gilbert AZ sick from eating bad food. Many are hospitalized and some die from the illnesses they contract from contaminated food. This is also known as food poisoning.

Foodborne illness can affect people of all ages, but older adults are at greater risk because of having lower immune function, less stomach acid and slower digestion. Changes in smell and taste can make it difficult to know when food has spoiled.

“Foodborne illnesses can cause serious health problems for older adults. An older person who gets a foodborne illness is likely to be sicker longer, and if hospitalized, is likely to have a longer hospital stay.” More information can be found at: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/eatingsafely/avoidfoodborneillness/01.html

There are many factors affecting the rates of foodborne illness. They include:

·         More meals are being eaten outside the home. Food is prepared by other people in a different environment

·         Food is transported over longer distances before being consumed

·         Harmful, drug-resistant bacteria are finding their way into the food chain

How are foodborne toxins dangerous?

·         Many are caused by bacteria. For example, E. coli and salmonella

·         They are potent enough to cause serious health problems

·         Some are difficult to treat

Following food safety protocols can greatly reduce your risk of contracting one of these harmful foodborne bacteria.

If you think you or your elderly loved one has eaten contaminated food, you should take the following steps:

1.      Contact your doctor. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible. You can contact CDC’s 24/7 hotline at 1-800-232-4636

2.      Preserve the suspected food. Wrap it securely, label it with the word “Danger” and put it in the freezer. It may be tested to conform your diagnosis and also prevent other people from getting sick.

3.      Save all the packaging materials of the suspected food; for example cans and cartons. Write down the details such as type of food, date and time you consumed it, and save any of the unopened identical products.

4.      Report contaminated meat to the USDA meat and poultry hotline at 1-888-674-6854.

5.      Call your local city or county health department if you think the food you ate from a local eating establishment is what made you sick. They can investigate.

Food contamination is serious and should be taken seriously. A caregiver from elderly home care can help your senior loved one make healthy food following food safety guidelines.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Sun Lakes, AZ, please contact the caring staff at About You Home Care (480) 351-4473. Servicing Phoenix and the surrounding communities.

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Debbie McLay

Founder and CEO at About You Home Care
Debbie McLay has had a ten year career working as a Behavioral Health Technician providing Direct Care to youth and adults with behavioral challenges, including substance abuse, eating disorders, domestic violence, and mental illness. For her exceptional work in this area Debbie was nominated for Subcontractor Employee of the Year by Value Options, an organization contracted to manage the mental health system in Maricopa County, and her client was nominated for the Most Successful Client of the Year. Debbie’s entrepreneurial endeavors began twelve years ago when she owned a successful retail business in a busy mall.

Debbie experienced firsthand in her own family the challenges that caregiver’s endure when caring for an aging loved one and saw a need for providers who adhere to a higher standard with exceptional service and individualized care that she herself provided in her behavioral health career. Debbie combined her background in healthcare with her entrepreneurial experience and founded About You Home Care with a vision of serving others who were faced with the struggles that her family had experienced. She’s also a strong believer in community service and does volunteer work for Duet, a nonprofit organization that provides aid for older adults and their families that face the difficult challenges associated with aging. Debbie has been on the fundraising event Steering Committee since 2011 and served as the event chair for two of those years.

Debbie did her Undergraduate studies in Psychology and Behavioral Science with Honors and pursued additional education in Chemical Dependency Counseling.