The holiday season is a great time to enjoy the company of your loved ones. But this special time can also be dangerous to seniors when you take into account the increased number of fire and slip hazards. Keep these tips in mind to help protect your senior loved ones during the holiday season.
- Check on seniors regularly. If you live in another town, have someone, such as a neighbor, check on them regularly and more often during weather emergencies. Alternatively, hire a caregiving service to look in on seniors, especially those who are physically or cognitively disabled. Ensure they have transportation to medical appointments or the grocery store.
- Keep snow and ice away from walkways and driveways or arrange for/hire someone to do it. Use plenty of sand or salt to help prevent slips and falls. Seniors who plan to do it themselves should work slowly and take frequent breaks.
- Ensure seniors have an emergency kit. It should include essential items to survive a power outage or another emergency – food, water, medicine, hygiene items and more, to last for at least three days.
- Help your elderly loved ones put up holiday decorations, but use them in moderation to prevent cluttering and the risk of tripping or falling. There should be plenty of room to walk in decorated areas. Place breakable objects out of reach.
- Keep extension cords away from heavily traveled areas, but don’t place them underneath carpets to prevent damaging them.
- Replace real candles with flameless electrical candles. Bright centerpieces of fruit and flowers are also a great idea. In addition, use flame-resistant decorations, including an artificial Christmas tree.
- All locations in the home must be properly lit as dim holiday lighting can make it harder for seniors to see their way around furniture.
- If you have elderly guests, ensure that the light switches in guest bedrooms are accessible from the bed or a nearby chair. Also, there should be a night light between the guest bedroom and the bathroom.
- Move furniture, such as low coffee tables, in a way that makes it easier for people to move around it.
- Remove throw rugs to prevent slips or at least add a non-slip pad underneath them. This is especially important on floors in bathrooms or hallways that tend to be slippery.
- When seniors are visiting, ask children to play in a specially designated area. Also, control exuberant pets when an elderly guest is walking through the house.
To learn more safety tips for the elderly, take a look at these home fire safety tips for older adults. For professional fire, water and mold restoration services, contact your local PuroClean office.