Radon is an invisible, odorless gas that occurs naturally when the uranium in soil breaks down. The elderly are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of this gas when it seeps into their home. The staff at KW Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home elder care Kitchener families trust, examines 4 signs your senior loved one might have radon poisoning.
1. Chronic Coughing
There are many conditions that can lead to a persistent cough. However, your loved one may need to have his or her home tested for radon if medical tests do not turn up a cause for the chronic cough. A cough associated with radon poisoning may continue to linger long after a cold is over.
2. Shortness of Breath and Wheezing
Similar to a cough, many seniors write off shortness of breath as part of being sick or aging. However, continually breathing in radon can impact your loved one’s lung capacity. He or she may start wheezing when walking short distances and tire easily doing normal housework.
3. Frequent Respiratory Infections
As a senior’s lung functioning breaks down, he or she will be less capable of fighting off colds and other infections. For this reason, your loved one may have chronic bronchitis or develop pneumonia more easily. Seniors who are sick more often than they’ve been in the past should explore the possibility of radon poisoning occurring in their home.
4. Lung Cancer
According to Health Canada, lung cancer is the only type of cancer that has been associated with radon poisoning, but it is a very real threat. For this reason, your loved one should be aware of the common signs of lung cancer, such as a persistent cough, coughing up blood, and pain in the chest. Seniors who suspect radon poisoning in their home can prevent it from reaching this critical level by arranging for ventilation to be put into the home, sealing cracks in the foundation, and using frequent radon testing to identify unsafe levels.
For tips on preventing radon poisoning, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can stay alert for changes in your loved one’s health and take measures to help him or her remain healthy. For more information on the live-in and respite care Kitchener seniors rely on, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (519) 590-2792 to request a free consultation.