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Increasing Personal Safety During the Holiday Season

By: Lenora Alabi

The holidays are filled with joy, happiness, and excitement, but that does not mean that there are not risks that your parent and you might face while enjoying the celebrations. As a family caregiver it is important that you do not overlook your parent's safety needs at any time and that you encourage them to maintain their safety and security no matter what they are doing, including when they are enjoying the holiday season .

Use these tips to increase personal safety during the holiday season:

  • Remain in groups whenever possible, especially if you are going to be going out shopping or to an event at night
  • Trust your instincts and the feelings that you have. If you think that something is suspicious or you do not feel comfortable, get out of the situation. If there is a person that you find suspicious, take note of them, including their license plate, if possible
  • Stick to well-lit, well-populated areas as much as you can. Now is the time to forget about your efforts to park way out in the parking lot so that you can get extra steps and find a spot as close as you can to the store or other location, especially at night
  • If you are shopping at night and you feel uncomfortable going out to your car alone or with your parent, do not hesitate to find a security guard and request an escort out to the vehicle
  • Make an effort never to look distracted or as though you are lost, overwhelmed, confused, or thinking about something else. This makes you more vulnerable
  • Get your keys out and ready before you leave the building or the car so that you can quickly get inside your car or your home
  • Tuck purchases away in the trunk, under seats, or under blankets if you must leave them in the car to go somewhere else. Do this before you leave for the next destination rather than when you arrive so that you are not seen. This ensures that they are not easily visible. Consider adding sunshades to the back windows and even putting up a window screen to further block the view of the interior of the vehicle so that nothing inside can entice someone
  • Stay off your cell phone when out in public. This makes you more vulnerable because you are distracted 
  • Keep your wallet, cash, or other valuables in your front pocket or in a purse that is kept at the front of your body, under your jacket, and held with one hand. Consider keeping some emergency cash somewhere else such as in your shoe, your shirt pocket, your undershirt, or the inside pocket of your jacket
  • Leave jewelry at home or turn rings to face your palm when in public
  • If you are being followed, suddenly change directions and go into the nearest public building such as a business or fire station for help.

Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult is challenging. This is especially true if you are a member of 
the sandwich generation also caring for children, or you live at a distance from your senior. You may feel as though you are not able to give your parent the care that they need, or that your efforts have caused a tremendous amount of stress that is diminishing your quality of life and the care that you give them. You may notice this even more during the holiday season. Fortunately, home care can help. Having an in-home care provider with your parent ensures that they are always getting the care that they need, both when you are with them and when you are not. This not only fulfills their personal needs, but also supports a more active, engaged, independent, and meaningful lifestyle as they age in place.


Topics: Safety Holiday