Keeping senior citizens safe during the holiday festivities


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Many families are likely having relatives come into town for Christmas. This may include grandmothers and grandfathers.

In order to make their stay enjoyable, experts suggest taking extra precautions so they have a safe and happy stay.

When it comes to hosting older guests, experts say safety and comfort are first and foremost. The first step you should take is clearing the house of clutter.

“What we really want to do is get the clutter clear. Get everything off of the floor. Pick up anything — area rugs, carpets or anything that just doesn’t need to be there. If you have to have one, I suggest using some sort of material that is going to help it adhere to the surface, non-slip strips or backing,” said Luis Trujillo, Executive Director at Brookdale Tramway Ridge.

Trujillo says falls are the number one cause of injury for people 65 and up. That’s why it’s important to get everything off of the floor.

He says if you must have a rug down, use non-slip strips or backing.

That goes for cords as well. He says to make sure those are tucked away or fastened down.

When it comes to dinner, there are a few things you should do before sitting down. Trujillo says simplifying the table setting can make a big difference, especially for those with dementia.

He suggests using less glassware and less silverware, and instead using just a bowl and a spoon to make it easier to eat.

Trujillo says having contrast on the table like dark tablecloths with light plates, or vice versa will also make it easier.

“They can get a little overstimulated when there’s too much going on. The simpler you make it, the easier you make it, the more successful they will be in their environment,” said Trujillo.

If your older guests are going to be spending the night, Trujillo suggests having night lights in the halls and bathrooms and having a chair, or at least non-slip strips or a rubber mat, in the shower.

As for parties, Trujillo suggests keeping them mellow. The less music and loud talking, the better, especially for those with dementia.

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