Frosty temperatures and icy streets can make it difficult for your elderly parent with mobility issues to get around safely, but at this time of year, Holiday celebrations and decorations can also bring unforeseen fall dangers within the home.
Times of celebration and gathering often mean an alarming spike in visits to emergency departments from all demographics, with Holiday-related accidents an all-too common occurrence. Seniors with mobility issues are particularly prone to accidents at home, but many of the hazards can be avoided, if you follow the simple tips below:
Whether your mom or dad wants to show off a floor display, a festive welcome mat, or holiday season lights, added decorations and trailing cables around your parent's home could pose unnecessary danger. Fall hazards such as wires running across the floor, or decorative pieces that narrow doorways and stairwells, could lead to accidents in the home.
Try to keep decorative items to a minimum. Items that could pose a fall risk should be secured down.
Candles and Other Fire Hazards
Nothing adds atmosphere like candlelight – it is softening, warm, and inviting. However, candles also pose a serious fire risk. If you're parent is no longer very mobile - whether due to a stroke, or Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, or surgery, candles are best left under the supervision of someone else, or skipped altogether.
While we all enjoy having Holiday lighting around the house, faulty decorative lights can cause not just a fall hazard, but also a fire hazard, particularly if they are left on overnight. If you think your parent is not mobile enough to reach sockets to turn lights off, or has the potential to forget about their lights due to cognitive issues such as dementia, including Alzheimer’s, purchase some inexpensive timer sockets to make sure lights are safely turned off at a certain time each night.
Don't forget to check that all smoke alarms are working, especially at this time of year, when the risk of fire is high.
The holiday season brings plenty of clutter with it - from gifts, extra holiday post, guests and their belongings, to grandkids proudly showcasing toys. It’s important to make sure that this crowded environment doesn’t reduce your parent’s safety at home.
To avoid tripping hazards, keep hallways, stairways and routes to essential communal areas clear and clean. If you think your parent’s mobility is preventing them from keeping their home clutter free, Home Care can help assist with light housekeeping and organizing.
If your elderly parent is going to be spending the holiday season with your family, remember that they may find it more difficult to move around in unfamiliar surroundings. Think carefully and prepare in advance. Try to make your home as accessible and comfortable as possible.
If your mom or dad would prefer to remain in their own home during the holidays, use the available resources, such as Home Care, so that you can relax knowing they have the support they need.
Christmas can be a very nostalgic time of year, but it can be extremely lonely for seniors who are not mobile enough to leave the home alone, or make excursions in bad weather conditions. Make sure your loved ones are not alone for extended periods of time during the holiday season.
This time of year brings a lot of commitments as we busy ourselves with family, children or other demands, and it is not always possible to provide the time, care and assistance your elderly parent may need. Make sure to enlist the help of others, so you don’t have to act as caregiver on your own.
If you are planning to leave town to visit relatives or friends, you may be worried about how your parent will cope alone, so consider your options. Neighbors and friends of the family may be able to help, but you should also consider hiring a Home Care company who can provide the respite care and support you need, while ensuring your mom or dad has the companionship and practical help they need when you can’t be there.
Regardless, if your elderly parent can’t be left on their own for extended periods of time, it might be a good time to start introducing a permanent Home Care solution. As their mobility reduces further, more dedicated help in the home is going to be essential, and the beginning of a new year is the ideal time to think about the future, and the changes it will bring to your mom or dad’s living situation.
Find out how Ezra Home Care can provide the support and assistance you need to keep your elderly parent with mobility issues safe this holiday season. Please contact our team to arrange a consultation: