Holiday Safety Tips for the Season
6 Holiday Safety Tips to Prepare for Your Parent's Visit
The holiday season is just around the corner, and you're eagerly awaiting visits from family and friends. While it's wonderful to have loved ones over during the holidays, be sure to prepare properly. If you have elderly relatives coming to visit, it's crucial to make sure your home is safe for those loved ones. Older adults are more prone to accidents, and BrightStar Care recommends taking several precautions to ensure their comfort, safety, and enjoyment during their stay. With just a few simple adjustments to make your home safer for the holidays, you can keep your home welcoming for all! Be sure to go through this elderly home safety checklist before welcoming senior guests:
1. Clear Pathways and Declutter
The best thing you can do to prepare your home for senior visitors is to clear all pathways of clutter and obstacles. If you have children, this is probably easier said than done, but make sure to clean up any toys, shoes and other items that could be a tripping hazard. Check area and throw rugs and ensure they are securely in place or temporarily remove them from rooms your loved one will be spending time in.
If you know your elderly visitor uses a walking aid like a cane or walker, create spacious paths throughout your home for these aids. This way, they can continue to use their own tools for stability. It may be helpful to keep an extra cane or walker on hand.
2. Place Handrails Throughout the Home
Handrails are a tried-and-true element of home safety for seniors. If possible, add handrails to your stairs and hallways to provide support and stability to seniors walking around the house. Make sure all handrails are secure and properly installed. If you don't have the time or resources to install handrails before the holidays, consider adhesive anti-slip floor tape is an easy way to reduce the risk of falls on stairs and hallways. They provide traction and visually signal transitions into hazardous areas.
3. Ensure Adequate Lighting
Proper lighting is critical for elderly visitors. It helps them better navigate unfamiliar surroundings and reduces the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. Make sure all walkways, stairs and rooms are well-lit, especially at night. Installing motion-activated lights is an excellent option and eliminates the need for light switches.
4. Cover Slippery Surfaces
If you have hardwood or tile flooring, always be aware of how slippery it can be, especially when wet. Clean up spills immediately. The following surfaces can become surprisingly slippery:
- Polished hardwood
- Vinyl flooring
- Marble and granite
- Hardwood stairs
- Steps or ramps
5. Have Plenty of Ways to Keep Warm
Maintaining a warm environment is crucial for the well-being of elderly guests, especially during the winter months. As we age, our bodies become less efficient at conserving heat, which makes seniors particularly susceptible to the cold. To ensure your home is comfortably warm, consider setting the thermostat to at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Provide warm blankets and keep extra layers on hand for guests who start to feel chilly. Staying cozy and warm is a good general safety tip for the holidays, even if you aren't having senior visitors!
6. Be Mindful of Physical Limitations
Many seniors have physical limitations, and it is good practice to be mindful and understanding of their needs. Make accommodations like providing a shower chair to aid in daily living activities and making sure items are within reach, giving them easy access when they become fatigued. Be patient and offer assistance to ensure their safety. Everyone is different, so listen to your loved ones and encourage them to communicate their unique needs.
The Importance of Fall Prevention
Preventing falls is paramount if your elderly parents or grandparents are coming to visit. Falls are all too common and can lead to serious injuries. Keep in mind that seniors have more difficulty with balance, and parts of your home that seem harmless to you may be an obstacle course for them. By keeping elderly fall prevention at the front of your mind, you can ensure a safe space for all your loved ones.
It's Never Too Early to Prep for the Holidays!
Preparing your home for elderly visitors takes careful planning and consideration, but it's well worth it to ensure their safety and comfort. Whether it's as simple as clearing pathways or as considerate as adding handrails, following our holiday safety tips can give you peace of mind and help you focus on making special memories with loved ones of all ages.
Find a BrightStar Care® Location Near
Looking for in-home care services or assisted living for your loved one or a reliable medical staffing partner for your organization? Our experienced local care team members are ready to help. Find a location near you, contact us online, or call 866.618.7827 to speak with a local care expert and learn more about how BrightStar Care offers A Higher Standard®.