Thursday, March 15, 2012

Safety in the Home When Entertaining Seniors

Senior Thursday

We love being surrounded by family, especially when we are celebrating a milestone. We invite friends and family over, from the very young to the very old. Our homes will be filled with people who normally aren't part of the routine. If your children are older or grown, you aren't used to toddlers being around. So you take care to protect them from obvious dangers like electrical cords or outlets.

So too, should you protect the other extreme—the aging senior. For the senior, the dangers are different. They know better than to eat the plants or stick their hand in an outlet. But they don't always see other dangers, especially those that can cause falls. It is up to you to prepare your house for their arrival. Here are some things you should do to protect against accidents.

• Pick up all throw rugs. They are tripping hazards.
• Provide normal height seating for meals—no bar stools or picnic tables.
• Provide a chair in the conversation area that is easy to sit in and get up from.
• Be aware of dietary restrictions such as low sodium, diabetic or gluten-free.
• Hold activities on the main level of the home so they don't have to up/down stairs.
• If stairs are necessary, make sure the railing is secure.
• Watch young children around them when they are walking.
• Keep pets locked up so they don't jump up and knock them over, or get under their feet and trip them.
• Don't hand them anything to hold that is hot (coffee) or heavy (plate of food). Carry it for them and set it down.
Being aware of these hazards will protect your elderly guests. How do you keep seniors safe in your home?

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