Home Safety for the Holidays

Simplicity is a gift for those with dementia, which means that around the holidays it is important to take an environmental inventory of your loved one’s home. Quality of life and safety are of the utmost priority when aging in place. Here are our safety tips and checklists for this holiday season to make sure that your loved one remains safe in their home.  

  • Less is more when it comes to festive décor. Make sure space remains clutter free
  • All walkways and stairwells should be free of décor and other items to prevent falls
  • Make sure all stairwells and entries are well lit.
  • Check all smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors and make sure batteries are replaced
  • Check all fire extinguishers and review their location with the resident
  • Remove or secure small rugs that make cause tripping or slipping          
  • If holiday lights are used, make sure there are no broken bulbs, exposed wires, or loose extension cords and be sure all cords are out of pathways.
  • Keep outdoor walkways and stairs clear and free from ice. Handrails and banisters should be free from décor and easily accessed.
  • Make sure any holiday leftovers are reheated properly to avoid food related illness
  • All space heaters should be kept clear of all objects and should be 3 feet away from objects such as blankets, papers or anything that could burn.
  • Make sure all space heaters, décor and other lights are turned off at night or before leaving the house. 
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended in a room 
  • When cooking, set alarm timers, use hot pads when handling hot items and make sure pan handles are turned away from burners or the edge of the stove. Do not leave anything unattended in the oven.
  • List emergency numbers should utilities go out and document instructions for backup generators and fuse boxes. Never run a generator inside the home or in the garage.
  • Keep a stalked emergency kit in the home with:
  • First aid kit
  • Nonperishable food and pet food when appropriate
  • Manual can opener
  • Potable water for at least three days
  • Back up prescription medications
  • List of medications, dosages, instructions, doctors, and emergency contacts along with copies of health insurance cards, photo ID, etc.
  • Warm clothing, socks, hat, gloves and blankets
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Matches
  • Battery operated radio
  • Local map and list of contacts
  • Emergency cash
  • Extra  medical equipment such as hearing aid batteries, cane, or extra pair of glasses

If you are concerned that your loved one may be living in an unsafe situation, there are many options for care inside the home that optimize safety and quality of life. Call to consult and learn more about home care and care management services with Sound Options today! 800.628.7649.



Published on December 7, 2012.