The holiday season is a joyous time of the year that brings family together to celebrate in their own special way. You get to catch up with visiting relatives over delicious food, ask how the kids are doing at school and meet any new additions to the family. If you’re hosting the holidays this year, you’ll have a lot on your plate before anyone sits down to eat. But one of the most important preparations isn’t for the turkey or the pie, it’s making your home safe for senior visitors.
The commotion and craziness around holiday gatherings can be especially overwhelming for older family members. Setting up a kid’s table is a good start for reducing commotion around meals, but if you’ll have seniors visiting for the holidays, you should take some additional precautions around the house to ensure their safety all through their visit.
Non-Slip, No Falls
One-third of people over the age of 65 will experience a fall this year, so preventing falls should be one of your primary concerns. Start with picking up any loose rugs around the house. Since rugs are a leading cause of falls and broken bones, this is a simple, and effective, precaution to take. You should also add a bath mat to the shower floor, or apply a slip-resistant coating, if you haven’t already. Grab bars in the bathroom will provide further stability.
If you have relatives visiting from senior living communities, consider what amenities they are currently using for safer mobility and make sure they’ll have something similar available for the holidays.
Clear Out Clutter
Even perfect eyesight can’t save visitors from stepping on stray toys, so it’s important to keep all of the clutter cleaned up while grandparents are home for the holidays. Make sure there are clear paths to get around the house, and wrap up electrical cords, tucking them away to prevent trips and falls.
Visibility is important for safe mobility. Put nightlights in hallways and throughout the house, so seniors are able to see where they’re going if they need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Ideally, you have space on the ground level for seniors to stay, but if not, having light switches at the top and bottom of stairs is important for visibility.
Lend a Helping Hand
You probably won’t be able to completely convert your home into a senior-friendly space in time for the holidays. Hazards like cracked sidewalks are simply too expensive and time-consuming to address. After you’ve taken all of the precautions around the house, the best way to ensure the safety of visiting seniors is to be aware of potential struggles and be there to lend a helping hand when necessary.
Hopefully, with all of the family together, there will be plenty of people to make sure your older relatives have help when they need it. But always have a plan, in case of emergency, because accidents happen. At least one family member should be prepared to handle an emergency, whether it’s calling 911 or driving to the emergency room.
Are you or a loved one exploring senior independent living communities or assisted living communities? Melrose Meadows is a certified assisted and independent living community in Iowa City, Iowa. We provide an independent, secure lifestyle for our residents in a vibrant, all-inclusive setting. Schedule a tour today to see if Melrose Meadows is a good fit for your future.