As we get ready for the holidays, there are some potential safety problems you and your loved ones should avoid. It is common for younger and healthier family members to not consider the nutritional and environmental issues when they invite an older adult to a function.

Reflexes diminish and health issues make us prone to emergencies as our loved ones age. Making a home environmentally safe is essential to our elderly loved one’s peace of mind. These few simple adjustments could make a huge difference.

What are the top environmental hazards in the house that affect a senior’s safety and comfort concerns?

  • Uneven carpet or obstacles in the way
  • Low seating, throw rugs or lack of hand railings on stairs
  • Clutter on the floor, low light or unsecured electrical cords
  • Slippery, unsafe bathtubs, shower stalls and floors
  • Old batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors because they are hard to change out

What potential home hazards occur during the holidays?

  • Dried out trees become a fire hazard.
  • Appliances that are no longer working, high or low cabinets and stepping up on a wobbly stool
  • Multi-level homes and furniture placed at an unsafe height
  • Christmas decorations! Twinkling lights could be disorienting.
  • Lit candles and overloaded extension cords
  • Don’t place decor where older people depend on for support. For instance, tinsel can make hand railings slippery.
  • Unusual gift basket, candy, and seasonal fruits can present choking hazards.

What could be done in the home to help avoid slips when people come in from the wet cold?

Make sure the non-slip mats are secured to the floor and dry up wet floors. If the entryway is tile or wood flooring and not carpet, make sure to have a rug or towel to dry your shoes. Position a chair right near the door to encourage people to sit and take off their wet shoes quickly. Install some handrails and non-slip mats around the entryway.

What are safer alternatives to burning candles?

The battery operated flameless Christmas candles are just as beautiful but much more harmless. Go an entirely different route and try using flowers or a holiday figurine instead of candles.

How could you make the kitchen a safe place for seniors?

  • Cook food on the back burners because pots placed in the front can easily get knocked over.
  • Address food safety, kitchen hazards, timers, knife use, and cleaning grease.
  • Install an automated gas shut off valves for gas stoves.
  • Limit the amount of people in the kitchen while cooking so that it does not get too congested.
  • Pre-cook your food before the event. Put the finished food outside kitchen areas.

Making your house a safe haven for your aging loved ones can be a stressful task. Do not try to do all of this alone and seek help from our qualified home care professionals to help ease the burden.

Do you have more questions about holiday safety for seniors? Click here to contact Colonial Home Care Services today!