Home for the Holidays: Ways to keep seniors safe - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Home for the Holidays: Ways to keep seniors safe

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Grandma and Grandpa are coming to town, and you want to make sure your home is safe during their stay.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four older people has fallen this year. The NCOA says every 19 minutes an older adult dies from one of those falls.

The bottom line: Tripping is a big deal when it comes to seniors. It’s a topic that matters to anyone who will be welcoming senior guests into their home over the holidays.

"Clear the pathways to make it easy for them to get around. Clear up any clutter that you have in the home. Area rugs tend to be a tripping hazards for Seniors. If you've got up some holiday decorations, you'll want to be careful with the extension cords. Anything you can do make the area clear and easy for them to get around,” said Fulmer.

Lighting is especially important. Fulmer says good lighting allows Seniors to see where they’re going and make sure they don’t trip over things. Night lights work well with Seniors.

For seniors living with dementia, dining can be a challenge due to visual and physical changes. Simple measures can help in serving them a holiday meal, with examples including:

  • Using contrasting colors on the table to help overcome depth-perception issues. Set light-colored plates against a dark tablecloth or vice-versa.
  • Prepare food of varying hues, so that meat and vegetables are easy to differentiate.Reducing possible confusion by cutting down or eliminating centerpieces and other decorations.
  • If someone does fall, Fulmer says immediately picking them isn’t the best practice. He says take your time when checking on them to see if they have any pain, but he stresses the importance of getting them checked by a doctor.

As that special time with your loved ones grows near, remembering these simple things will always bring cheer.

"You want them to enjoy the holidays as much as you, and having them around can be just as important for sharing memories. They can enjoy life with just a few small accommodations to help them out,” Fulmer added.

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