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Safety Tips to Help Prepare Your Home for Seniors

How to Make Your Home Comfortable and Safe for Elderly Relatives and Holiday Guests

In the midst of wrapping presents, stuffing stockings and shopping for family holiday dinners, hosts also need to make sure their home is safe for elderly guests. A Cedars-Sinai doctor offers safety reminders to help you prepare for these elderly visitors.

Sonja Rosen, MD, chief of Geriatric Medicine at Cedars-Sinai, says accommodating your home for elderly guests is critical in order to prevent falls. “Falls are common, especially in and around the home, when it’s an unfamiliar environment for guests.”

To prevent falls and keep guests comfortable, Rosen suggests:

  • Put away loose rugs and loose cords that may get caught on assistive walking devices.
  • Remove clutter and unnecessary decorations from walkways or heavily trafficked areas.
  • Ask ahead of time if guests will need safety devices in the bathroom. Some of the most common items are handlebars to aid getting in and out of the shower and anti-slip mats on shower floors.
  • Have a night light available in the guest’s bedroom to prevent tripping over things in the dark. And keep a light on in the bathroom to prevent falls during nighttime visits.
  • Provide a suitcase stand in the bedroom so guests don’t have to bend down low.
  • Have plenty of extra blankets and pillows on hand, to keep your elderly guests warm and comfortable.
  • Help escort guests up and down any stairs or steps.
  • Make sure to ask if your guest has any food allergies. Then, stock your kitchen accordingly with easy-to-access snacks and meals.

Most importantly, Rosen recommends you enjoy time together.

“Social isolation is a national epidemic. Opening your home and inviting your older loved ones in is a great blessing and sure to bring them – and you – great enjoyment and rewards,” Rosen said.