Winter and the holidays can be a joyous time for seniors and their families, but it’s important to be aware of possible health hazards. No one wants an unexpected trip to the hospital because of a fall or a food-borne illness! Here are some tips to have a safe and healthy holiday season:
- If you’re entertaining in your home or visiting with an older adult at someone else’s home, be mindful of the environment. Are outdoor walkways clear of snow, ice, or any obstacles? Are there electrical cords, clutter, or throw rugs that can be a tripping hazard for a frail senior? What about stairs? Will the senior need help in the bathroom if there are no grab bars? Is the interior and exterior lighting adequate? Are there pets that can get underfoot?
- Traveling by car or plane can be challenging for anyone, but especially so for seniors who may have vision or mobility problems. If the senior is driving to visit relatives, consider what weather and traffic conditions will be like. Membership in a road service such as AAA for emergencies is a good idea. If the senior is flying, special rules may apply for passengers who are 75 or older or who have disabilities and certain medical conditions. Go through a checklist of needed items such as prescription medications, clothing, travel documents, etc.
- Be cognizant of food safety. If the older adult tends to be forgetful in cleaning out their fridge, remind them about eating leftovers before the food goes bad. Make sure to refrigerate leftovers promptly if you’re the one serving food at a holiday event.
- COVID and its emerging variants are still very much a concern, and even vaccinated seniors can become infected and get very sick. Consider how to protect the older adult as much as possible and consult with their physician on recommendations regarding masking, testing, and booster shots.
A little prevention can go a long way toward making the holiday season safe and happy for everyone!
If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at (920) 740-8441 or email us at email@example.com. We’ll be happy to assist!