Caregivers Dealing with Mold: A Growing Challenge in South Florida
Florida is home to more senior citizens than any state in America. Many of these senior citizens live
alone in their own homes and receive regular visits from a paid caregiver. Many other elderly
residents receive unpaid care from a family member or loved one. According to AARP Research, 48% of
Florida residents over the age of 45 have provided care for an adult loved one who is disabled,
elderly, or ill. Many of these caregivers have encountered health hazards such as mold in the homes
of their clients and loved ones. Below is a look at some of the unique health challenges associated
with mold and some specific steps you can take as a caregiver to ensure that mold is safely removed
from your client's home.
The Link Between Mold and Alzheimer's Disease
"We already know how dangerous mold can be, but the fact that we now know biotoxins can
cause Alzheimer's is reason for grave concern... Interestingly, subtype 3 is also
called Inhalational Alzheimer's Disease (IAD) and is caused by
inhaled toxins which bioaccumulate overtime."
Many Floridians are aware of some of the health problems commonly associated with mold.
These problems include sinus irritation, dry hacking cough, watery eyes, wheezing, and
shortness of breath. However, fewer people are aware of the link between mold and Alzheimer's
Disease. Research conducted by Dr. R. Shoemaker and his
colleagues supports the link between mycotoxins and cognitive decline. Specifically,
exposure to molds in water-damaged buildings was found to cause Chronic Inflammatory Response
Also known as "Mold Illness", CIRS is triggered by mold and can produce a constellation of
symptoms in a person. As the caregiver of a senior citizen who may have pre-existing conditions, it
is especially important to be on the lookout for the development of new symptoms in your client.
CIRS specialist Elena Klimenko,
MD highlights some of the most common symptoms of CIRS:
- Chronic fatigue and illness
- Brain fog and other cognitive difficulties
- Unexplained weight gain
- A sore throat and postnasal drip
- Frequent urination and dehydration
If you notice any of these symptoms in your client, it is important to seek medical care immediately.
Then, make sure your client's home is properly screened for mold and that any mold is
What should caretakers do if they detect mold in a client's home?
The key to successful restoration of a mold-infested home is swift action by a highly skilled
mold-removal specialist. Failure to act quickly can lead to long-term structural damage that can
compromise the security of your client's home. Here are four steps to take if you notice mold in
the home of your elderly clients.
1) Contact a mold removal specialist right away
"Mold growths, or colonies, can start to grow on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours. They
reproduce by spores - tiny, lightweight "seeds" - that travel through the air. Molds
digest organic material, eventually destroying the material they grow on, and then spread to
destroy adjacent organic material."
Mold growth can occur within 48 hours and can quickly spread to adjacent areas of a home. Failure to
enlist the services of a mold removal
specialist right away can enable mold growth to spiral out of control, potentially
causing long-term damage.
2) Do your homework before suggesting a mold removal company
Mold removal scams are on the rise in Florida. As a caregiver, you can help your client avoid a scam
by carefully researching mold removal providers in your area. The Better
Business Bureau (BBB) outlines some specific steps you can take to ensure that you are
dealing with a provider that is licensed and experienced. In addition to going online to www.myfloridalicense.com to check
whether a contractor is registered, you can verify the provider's license by visiting
the Florida Department of
Business and Professional Regulation.
3) Take preventive measures to prevent mold growth
As the caregiver for a disabled or elderly individual, one of the best ways to protect their health
is to take preventive measures to help prevent the growth of mold. Here are some steps you can take
to prevent mold from growing in your client's home:
- Consider using a dehumidifier to lessen the humidity in your client's home
- Be on the lookout for leaking roofs and windows, as these can ultimately cause mold to develop
- Make sure your client's air conditioner is working properly - especially the air ducts
- Always be on the lookout for new mold growth
4) Resist the urge to try to remove mold on your own
"It's important to protect yourself and others from getting sick or causing
cross-contamination when removing mold. Most homeowners will not take the necessary precautions
to protect themselves. Mold removal professionals are trained to handle contaminants, and they
know that there are certain ways to get in and out of protective wear to prevent the spread or
inhalation of the contaminant."
When you notice mold in your client's home, your instinct to help will likely kick in. You may
even be tempted to try to remove the mold on your own. Unless you have received formal training
in mold remediation, the mold removal process is best left to a trained professional who will
prevent the spread of contaminants.
The single best path to mold detection and removal in South Florida
Whether you are a paid employee who is caring for a client or a concerned family member who shares in
caregiving activities, you should never ignore signs of mold in the home of a senior citizen.
Fortunately, ATP Mold is just a phone call away. As Florida's leading mold removal
company, ATP Mold is certified by the EPA and accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Here
are just a few reasons why we are Florida's most trusted mold removal company:
- 25 years of success removing mold from the homes of senior citizens across
- A Five-Phase Mold Remediation approach that is guaranteed to test, treat,
remove, and prevent mold
- Safe, non-toxic mold removal techniques that protect the health of senior
citizens and their pets
- Professional employees who have been highly trained and carefully screened for
- Affordable prices and a reputation for being sensitive to the unique
health needs of senior citizens
We invite you to contact us to learn more about our
award-winning mold removal services. Our accomplished team of mold removal specialists is ready to
respond to your call or electronic inquiry. We offer complimentary consultations during which we
will analyze your client's home and screen for the presence of mold. Whether you notice a
small, suspicious spot or blatant and extensive mold growth, we will ensure that mold is safely
removed from your client's home. We look forward to serving as your total solution for mold