Nothing ruins the holidays like a preventable trip to the emergency room. As you decorate and spread some holiday cheer, pay attention to how you can make the holidays safer for seniors. In this post, we’ll cover a series of tips on holiday safety for seniors. All of this advice should be taken by everyone, but it’s particularly crucial for senior safety. Read on and have a safe and happy holiday season!
Preventing falls and other injuries outside
The number one risk to senior safety during this time of year is snow and ice —know the risks and make a better plan. If possible, hire someone to keep outdoor walkways clear of snow and ice. If clearing snow yourself, tackle it in small chunks to avoid health risks. Snow removal is a leading cause of heart attacks for the elderly.
During snow and ice storms and the time immediately following them, don’t go out. Keep a good supply of all essentials (food, medications, bottled water, etc.) on hand in case of extended periods when you can’t go out. If you need something, find someone who can help you out. Nothing is more important than your health and safety.
Preventing falls and other injuries indoors
When you’re decorating the inside of your house for the season, keep senior safety in mind. Get help putting up decorations, particularly any up high or heavy. Invite some family or friends over and make it into an event. It’ll be safer and more festive!
When choosing where to put your decorations, remember to keep all indoor walkways clear of tripping hazards like unsecured rugs or extension cords. Try to keep wires contained to areas where no one will be walking and/or secure them to the wall. Falls are the most common injury in seniors, so it’s worth the extra effort to prevent them.
Promote senior safety — avoid fire risks
Fire is a serious risk to holiday safety for seniors. There are lots of ways to protect your home at this time of year. You should always use fire-resistant holiday decorations. Be extra careful using family heirlooms or other older decorations, especially near open flames — such as candles. During Hanukkah, keep flammable items, like drapes or tablecloths, away from the Menorah.
Avoid using old extension cords and lights; these can cause electric shock or sparks. Regardless of the type of lights, try not to leave them on while unattended. When you’re prepping a holiday meal or whipping up a batch of everyone’s favourite sugar cookies, set a timer to remind you to check on them if you must leave the kitchen.
Be sure to pass along these holiday safety tips to any seniors in your life. Together, we can ensure the season is merry and bright for everyone. For more information on senior safety in and around the home, check out this post on preventing falls, burns, poisonings, and more.
How do you keep your home — or your loved one’s home — safe over the holidays? Let us know in the comments below!