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Senior Care Awareness: How Healthy and Safe Are Your Washer and Dryer?

Senior Care in Palm Beach FL

senior care palm beach flYour parents’ washer and dryer are tools that you use frequently in your senior care routine, and if you are like many family caregivers, you use them so frequently that you do not even think about them. You might take for granted that they are safe, healthy, and in good working condition simply because they have not shown any obvious signs of problems while you were using them. The truth is, however, that many household washers and dryers have issues that could result in serious problems for your parents’ home and safety if not addressed.


Some safety and health measures that you, your loved ones, and their senior health care services provider should keep in mind when considering the health and safety of your parents’ washer and dryer include:

  • Check the hoses. The hoses on a washing machine can crack, break, or separate from the rest of the machine, causing hundreds of gallons of water to spill out into your parents’ home. This not only wastes the water, but it also can lead to serious structural damage. Check the hoses regularly for damage and consider having them replaced with modern steel-lined versions that cannot split
  • Check for dangerous soiling. Not all washing is the same. If your parents’ laundry has potentially dangerous soiling on it such as household chemicals, cooking oils, or paint, it is important to remove these properly before drying. Do this by rinsing the area, laying it out to dry completely, washing three times in the washing machine, and then drying for short intervals until completely dry
  • Clean the lint trap. Lint can be extremely flammable, and each year thousands of homes are seriously damaged or even lost due to fires stemming from the lint in a dryer. According to the National Fire Prevention Agency, approximately 1 in 22 house fires is caused by lint. You should clean out the lint trap after every load, making sure to remove all of the lint from the screen. It is important to remember, however, that this is not the only step you should take to protect the home from fire. You must also check the vent on the outside of the home to ensure that there are no blockages preventing the air from escaping properly. If you routinely use fabric softener in your laundry you should also check to make sure that the lint screen is not holding on to residue. Remove the screen and run water into it. If the water does not go through freely, there is residue that could add to the fire risk of the dryer. Wash this carefully with dish liquid, rinse thoroughly, and then dry before starting another load
  • Keep the surrounding area clean. Make it a habit to check around and behind the washer and dryer weekly to make sure that no clothing, dust, or lint have fallen behind or to the sides of the appliances. These can block the vents, making the washer and dryer less efficient, and can increase the potential for fire. Help prevent this from happening by not keeping clothing or other items on top of these appliance.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring in-home senior care in Palm Beach FL, please call the friendly staff at Atlantic In Home Care today at 877-205-9202.