Safety Tips for Seniors to Enjoy the Holidays Season
The holidays are a time of celebration, family, friends, food and merrymaking. However, many dangers can exist for seniors, so keep reading for all our safety tips on enjoying the holidays while still making safety a primary concern. The CARP recommends these safety tips, to have a memorable and festive holiday season.
A big part of the festive season is to decorate the home and surrounding area with real trees. These, along with Christmas lights, tissue paper, ornaments, cotton and other flammable materials can pose a fire. Swap out real pine trees, wreaths and candles for real looking fire-retardant ones. They are often comparatively cheaper, just as beautiful, and fire retardant. If you still insist on using real pine, keep them away from open flames like candles and fireplaces, and radiators. Also keep curtains and tablecloths away from open flames. And, make sure you use fire safe ornaments, and have a fire extinguisher nearby.
Nothing says ‘holidays’ like the smell of warm cookies in the oven. Many seniors grew up in a time when baking was a big part of the festivities and whipping up batches of gingerbread or everyone’s favourite sugar cookies was akin to putting up the tree. Kitchen safety cannot be stressed enough. Don’t try to do too much at once. Also, keep kitchen counters clear, wipe up spills on the floor immediately. Another good tip is to use a timer for the oven to remind you to check on your goodies, and never leave items in the oven unattended. A fire extinguisher in the kitchen is vital, but also keep baking soda handy as this will douse flames quickly in a pinch.
The holidays often mean extra electrical components, including wires, cables and cords. Use these items near adequate outlets, and avoid using extension cords that may not only increase the risk of electrical fires, but may also cause a tripping hazard. This becomes especially important for seniors who have gait and balance issues, and use a walker or cane.
Keep Valuables Safe
Giving and receiving gifts is a wonderful part of the holidays. But it’s also a time when crime increases. It has been established that senior citizens are often targeted because they are perceived to be easier to victimize. If you’re shopping for your loved ones, go during daylight hours, and stick to areas that are well populated and well lit. Always keep your car doors locked, whether you’re in it or not, and keep packages hidden in the trunk because thieves will be less likely to break in if they can’t see what you’ve got. Keep your purses and wallets secure and remember, there is safety in numbers.
Maintain medication routine
During the festive season it’s natural to relax our daily routines and indulge. Remember that sweets, candy and alcohol are fine in moderation. But it’s still important to take your medications as prescribed. Seniors should check with their health care provider about possible side effects of medications and alcohol. Caregivers, be sure to read our blog on respite care, as the holidays are meant to be enjoyed with family. Take the break you deserve and enjoy the holidays with the safety tips.
Here are the safety tips once more.
- Fire safety
- Kitchen safety
- Tripping hazards
- Being vigilant for theft
- Maintain your medication routine
Follow these tips, be safe and have a wonderful holiday season!