Remember when you were a kid and you learned about poisons. Maybe your school or your parents used Mr. Yuck stickers to teach the lesson. Flash forward to raising your own young children. You likely put childproof locks on cabinets that contained hazardous chemicals. You place medicine in out-of-reach spots. And, you keep a close eye on your children to make sure they dont put anything bad in their mouths. Well, now that youre a family caregiver for an older adult, it may be time to put a whole new set of safety tips for poisonous substances into play. And, since March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, its the perfect time to focus on keeping your aging relative safe from accidental poisoning.

Safety Tips for Older Adults

Sometimes when we think about poisoning, we think about someone accidentally ingesting hazardous chemicals. Thats certainly one of the issues, but a person can be poisoned through many other sources. Below are some tips for keeping seniors safe from poison:

  • Post the number for Poison Control (1-800-222-1222) near the house phone.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Make sure that appliances that can produce carbon monoxide, like furnaces and wood-burning stoves, in good condition.
  • Keep medications in their original containers.
  • Dont store cleaners in the same cupboard as medicines or food.
  • Remind seniors to put their eye glasses on before taking medications so they can read the labels.
  • Dont mix household chemicals as doing so can produce dangerous gasses.

Special Tips for Seniors with Dementia

If youre a family caregiver to an older adult with dementia, youll need to take special care to ensure they dont accidentally eat something harmful. Here are some tips for safeguarding a senior with dementia:

  • If you use laundry detergent pods, be sure to lock them safely away. Because they are colorful and resemble candy, dementia patients are likely to put them in their mouths. The chemicals inside the pods are extremely dangerous, and ingesting them has lead to death in some dementia patients.
  • Keep medications locked up.
  • Place dangerous chemicals, like cleaning products or lawn chemicals, in locked cabinets.

Poison control should be taken seriously, especially for family caregivers of dementia patients. But, even when a family caregiver cannot be around to keep an eye on an older adult with dementia, a professional in-home caregiver can ensure they stay safe. A professional caregiver can also be helpful in keeping seniors without cognitive impairments safer in their homes. Professional caregivers can remind older adults when it is time to take their medicines and ensure they dont accidentally take too much. Professional caregivers can also ensure that seniors dont take a second dose of medicine because theyve forgotten about the first.


If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Eden Prairie, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.