Holiday Safety Tips for Seniors

Christmas is around the corner and the holiday fun is just getting started! Stores are filled with decorations, trees and lights, and our calendars are filled with holiday parties and gathering with family. At SpringShire, we want you all to have a wonderful Christmas! Most importantly though, we want everyone to stay safe during their celebrations. We have compiled a list of holiday safety tips to help you make this Christmas season one of only happiness and good memories.

Holiday Decorating

Holiday decorating can be a concern as you age. You may not be able to climb a ladder or lift bulky boxes full of wreaths like you once could, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put up the beautiful decorations you love!

Here are a few holiday safety tips to help you “deck the halls.”

  1. Use simple decorations that won’t cause clutter. Make sure that you have plenty of room to walk and move through your home safely.
  2. Keep extensions cords along walls or behind furniture to avoid tripping.
  3. Remember to never attach more than three stands of lights to a single extension cord.
  4. Use non-slip grip on any holiday doormats.
  5. Whether you use a real or artificial tree, set it up far away from any source of heat and be sure not to block access to any exits.
  6. If you use an artificial tree, be sure that it is labeled as fire-resistant.
  7. If you have heavy decorations, want to decorate the exterior of your home or need things from the attic, consider hiring help. Contact a friend, handyman or local youth group to see who may be available.
  8. Turn off all lights and decorations before you go to bed.

Holiday Traveling

One of the best things about Christmas is reuniting with loved ones. Many times this involves traveling. In fact, according to the United States Department of Transportation the Christmas/New Year’s holiday periods are among the busiest for long-distance travel.

Here are tips for traveling this season.

  1. Plan your route ahead of time and add in extra time for bathroom breaks and to stretch your legs.
  2. Give yourself plenty of extra time to get to your destination. You don’t want to feel stressed or rushed.
  3. Make sure to pack clothing appropriate for the weather. If you are traveling a long distance, check the weather of your destination.
  4. Pack two days’ worth of extra clothing and medication, just in case.
  5. If you can, avoid traveling during peak traffic times.

Holiday Weather

We all dream of a white Christmas, but during the holiday season, it is important to remember that weather conditions can pose a safety risk. In fact, 31 percent of all senior falls are caused by accidents or environmental conditions, which can include slipping on icy steps, sidewalks or walkways.

To help prevent falls and keep your home as safe as possible, follow these simple tips.

  1. Check the strength and safety of any handrail you may use to enter your home. If it shakes or wobbles, have it fixed.
  2. Add a rubber mat inside your entryway to wipe of shoes and avoid an indoor fall.
  3. When walking outside, where there may be frozen ice on the sidewalk, walk empty-handed for better balance.
  4. Wear snow boots with flat heels and rubber soles for safer walking on ice and snow.
  5. Use rock salt, ice melt or sand to dissolve ice on steps and the path leading to your door.

The holidays are meant for joy, laughter and celebration, for spending time with friends and family, and for making memories that last a lifetime. Follow these safety tips to ensure that those memories are good ones and your Christmas is perfect!