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5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Elderly Visitors over the Holidays

The holiday season is quickly approaching which often means a time to gather with elderly parents, friends, or relatives. The holidays are a chance to celebrate and make memories together, but sometimes during the excitement, senior safety and comfort are overlooked. Whether you have short-term or long-term guests, there are a few adjustments you can make to create a relaxing and safe environment for visitors of varying mobility and comfort levels.

Bathroom Safety

Bathrooms are one of the most dangerous rooms in the home for senior citizens. Keep your guests safe from slippery falls using these items:

      • Ensure grab bars are next to the toilet and in bathing areas
      • Place a raised toilet seat in guest’s bathroom or a commode or bedpan in the bedroom for guests with mobility challenges
      • Use shower mats to prevent shower falls
      • Utilize shower benches and stools for visitors with mobility challenges

Find more bathroom safety items here

Clear Paths

For some, the holiday season means snow and ice. Both of which pose challenges and dangers for anyone, especially for elderly visitors. Be sure to always keep walkways clear, easy to see, and free of any debris, snow, and ice to prevent dangerous falls. If you have stairs leading to your front door, be sure to install handrails on each side. Consider adding a ramp to your door for added safety.

Declutter

One of the quickest and easiest ways to prepare your home for elderly visitors is by decluttering it. Doing so not only allows guests with mobility challenges to maneuver easier throughout your home but also helps to eliminate tripping hazards. A fall does not have to be extreme for it to be detrimental for your elderly visitors.

      • Rearrange furniture to create clear walkways
      • Make sure books, toys, clothes, etc., are picked up and put away
      • Remove or enforce rugs with non-slip material
      • Get rid of any loose cords
      • Encourage visitors to wear non-slip shoes or socks

Sleep Soundly

Give your guests a comfortable and safe sleeping environment so everyone can be well rested for more holiday fun.

Light the Way

The American Family Physician claims 1 in 3 people, “has some form of vision-reducing eye disease by the age of 65,” such as glaucoma and cataracts, so proper lighting is crucial for your elderly visitors.

      • Add more light to dim areas such as entryways, hallways, and staircases
      • Replace soft light bulbs with cooler and higher wattage bulbs
      • Place a night light in your guest’s bedroom and keep a light, or night light, on in the bathroom to prevent nighttime falls
      • You may want to add motion sensor lights for hallways and other dim areas for additional nighttime visibility

 

Final Thoughts

The holiday season is a time to celebrate and be around loved ones. Preparing your home for elderly visitors not only keeps them safe but also gives everyone peace of mind so you can focus on making memories together.