Making your home safe for elderly visitors during the holidays
While easy for most, traveling even small distances can be quite difficult for some elderly people. So if you’re expecting an aging loved one as a guest during the holidays, prepare your house to make it easy to maneuver through. Most preparations are simple to do and are common sense, but a little can go a long way in making someone you love feel welcome and comfortable.
Start with the outside of the house:
- Make sure all pathways are clear leading to the doorways.
- If icy, put down salt or sand.
- Make sure any steps leading into the house have sturdy railings. If not, make sure someone is always available to help your loved in and out of the house.
- Check for tripping hazards. Rugs and general ground clutter are usual culprits.
- Be aware of any uneven floor surfaces in the house and plan your loved one’s stay around them accordingly. If the uneven spots are unavoidable, make them more visible with brightly colored mat or even tape, in necessary.
- Have a sturdy seat for your elderly loved one to sit — plushy couches and chairs may be comfortable to most, but are difficult to get out of for the elderly.
- Make sure all railings are secure, especially if you’re loved one must use stairs to reach their bedroom, bathroom or other area in the house.
- Bathrooms can be particularly hazardous for the elderly, so make sure anti-slip mats are in place on the floor and in the tub. If needed, add a shower stool and grip bars to the tub.
Little things you might forget:
- Be aware of any special dietary needs your loved one has. If possible, have meal options planned out for them in advance.
- If they’re staying overnight, leave a glass of water and an empty pillbox for them to use next to their bed.
- Plan family activities that can easily include your elderly loved one.
Are there any other tips for preparing your house for any elderly guest that we missed? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments.
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