Holidays are one of the best times for family members to enjoy spending time together. However, there are also additional safety risks present during this time of year. With the right preparation, family caregivers can keep their senior loved ones safe during the holiday season.
Be Aware of Symptomatic Confusion
Holidays are busy, especially on days when there are family, church, or community functions your loved one will attend. It’s important to regularly check in and make sure your loved one isn’t feeling confused or overwhelmed by the many holiday activities. This is especially vital for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, since holidays can sometimes exacerbate confusion.
Ensuring your loved one is feeling calm and comfortable and understands what’s going on is important because a confused senior can easily go unnoticed in the bustle of a holiday celebration, leading to dangerous behavior such as wandering.
Elevated stress can be difficult for seniors to experience, and it can impact health and wellbeing a great deal. Make sure to set aside time to check in with your loved one on a regular basis to ensure he or she isn’t feeling confused or overwhelmed.
A professional home caregiver can help your loved one with more than just safety check-ins. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Prepare for the Weather
Winter can be a dangerous time for seniors to be outside due to the cold temperatures and potentially inclement weather conditions. Seniors are often more susceptible to the effects of cold weather than their younger counterparts, and they’ll likely feel the effects sooner and for a longer time.
Many seniors are already a bit unsteady on their feet, and a fall can lead to serious injuries. To make sure your loved one is safe, encourage using walking aids if necessary, even if only during bad weather. When you attend events with your loved one during bad weather, walk with him or her to cars, houses, and other locations.
If your loved one will be going out alone, encourage him or her not to drive in any kind of inclement weather. Instead, your parent should carpool with friends or hire a caregiver to assist with transportation. It’s a good idea to ask a neighbor or a nearby friend to check in if your loved one will be going out without assistance.
Auburn elderly home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Help Your Loved One Stay Healthy
Holiday crowds in public places and even family events can be places where germs linger. Seniors are more prone to catching illnesses and experiencing more serious effects. A simple cold can affect a senior for weeks or turn into a serious complication like pneumonia.
Because of the health risks associated with crowds, make sure your loved one is well prepared. When going holiday shopping, encourage your loved one to use antibacterial wipes on carts, either by carrying a pocket-sized container or using the wipes stores provide. Your loved one should also use hand sanitizer after shaking hands with someone or coming into contact with anything someone else has touched.
Make sure your loved one is even more conscientious about handwashing after any trip out of the house, before eating, and before touching his or her face. If you know your loved one will be going to a holiday get-together where someone isn’t well, encourage him or her to take supplements such as vitamin C, which can boost the immune system and ward off infections.
Make Sure Decorations Are Safe
If you or your loved one puts up holiday decorations, it’s important to make sure all the proper precautions are taken. You’ll want to make sure your loved one’s tree is fully secured in its base so there’s no risk of it toppling over. Use safe hangers or strips both inside and outside the home to ensure decorations won’t fall down. If your loved one uses a fireplace, encourage the use of a screen, and make sure he or she never burns plastic or wrapping paper because these materials can create intense heat and cause a fire hazard.
Encourage your loved one to follow general fire safety guidelines, such as inspecting lights and extension cords before use, using newer lights that are less likely to cause fires, and turning lights off when he or she is away from home. For additional protection against fires, your loved one should use electric candle warmers rather than lighting the wicks on the candles.
You can help keep your loved one safe and comfortable during the holidays as well as the rest of the year by hiring a professional caregiver. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Auburn, Alabama, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. Call (334) 744-7100 today to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager to formulate a home care plan for your loved one.