When you think of pollution, do you think about the air inside your home? Probably not. Most people don’t. But, according to WebMD, the air inside the house could actually contain more pollution than the outside air. For older adults with respiratory conditions, like COPD or asthma, having cleaner indoor air could improve some of their symptoms.
What’s in the Air?
There are all kinds of nasty things that can be floating through the air in your aging relative’s home.
Some pollutants that may be present are:
Lead, as part of household dust.
Chemicals from cleaners.
Six Tips for Clearer Air
If you’d like to clean up the air in the senior’s home, here are six tips to help:
- Vacuuming: Vacuuming can help control the amount of pet dander and dust in the home. For the best results, use a vacuum with strong section and a HEPA filter. Be sure to vacuum high traffic areas several times. Vacuum the walls, curtains, and furniture as well. WebMD recommends that you vacuum two to three times per week and wash the filter often.
- House Plants: House plants are a natural way to remove some pollutants from the air. Now, you probably don’t need to turn the house into a jungle, but having several plants in rooms that are used most often can help. Look for plants that most efficiently clean the air, such as the peace lily, English ivy, Boston fern, or spider plant.
- Maintain Proper Humidity: To control the amount of dust mites, molds, and other allergens in check, keep the humidity inside the house between 30 and 50 percent. You may need to use a dehumidifier in the warm months and a humidifier in the cooler months to maintain the right level.
- No Smoking: Don’t allow anyone to smoke inside the house. There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke.
- Radon Testing: Radon is a gas that increases the risk for lung cancer. It is colorless and odorless, so you won’t know if it’s present unless you test for it.
- Use Natural Cleaners: The fragrances used in most cleaners release chemicals into the air. To minimize the chemicals in the air, choose fragrance-free products or look for natural cleaners.
Home care providers can also help keep the air inside your aging relative’s home cleaner. A home care provider can assist with some of the housecleaning duties, like vacuuming and dusting. They can also empty dehumidifiers and fill humidifiers. Home care providers can water plants and remind visitors not to smoke in the home.