The holiday season can be a dangerous time of year for seniors and people with mobility issues. During this season, people are visiting in other people’s homes and decorating their own homes. There is a heightened fall risk whenever a person’s normal landscape is changed, even a little bit. Here are a few things to consider during this holiday season that should help prevent falls at home and prevent visitors falling.
1. Make sure all cords are tucked away safely. When decorating we tend to add extension cords and electric cords all over the house that are not typically there. Make sure that when you are laying the cords, you keep them against the wall and out of the general walk way.
2. Do not decorate with rugs. Rugs can be a major tripping hazard. While they may be cute, avoid using them or having them out while people who may have a higher fall risk are visiting.
3. Do not clutter the walkway. Make sure that all gifts and toys are out of the walkway. If you are going to be exchanging gifts, think about having the gifts up on a table instead of in the floor. If you have children in the house, have a designated play area for them that does not include the general walkway through the home or the path to the bathroom or kitchen.
4. Clear the outside walk ways. Make sure stairs and outdoor walk ways are clear of leaves and debris. Salt the walk ways, but do not over salt them. Ice is dangerous, snow can be dangerous, but the tiny pebbles of salt can also be a fall hazard.
5. If you have mobility issues, please do not decorate alone. Please have a friend, neighborhood kid, or family member help you hang lights or do any decorating that requires climbing, reaching, or getting into tight spots.
These are all ways to keep yourself and your visitors safe from falls during the holidays. Keep walkways clear and free of slipping and tripping hazards. Nobody wants to have to stop a celebration abruptly because someone got hurt, so let’s try to take every step to prevent injuries.