Hosting seniors for the holidays? Here's what you need to know

There are only 20 shopping days left until Christmas Day 2012, and that means busy shopping malls and frenzied shoppers across North America.

And when the shopping is over and Christmas arrives, millions of families will gather across the United States and Canada in their homes for celebrations, and millions of seniors and the elderly are likely to be among them. So when hosting family gatherings, it is important to make sure one’s home is safe and secure for older visitors.

Courtesy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper, here are three ways holiday hosts can prepare their home for gatherings, and to ‘senior-proof:’

1/ Evaluate the house – Walk around the house as a guest might – visiting the kitchen, living and dining rooms, and bathroom – and check if there are any hazards that might come their way.

2/ Confirm about pets – Ask the older visitors if they mind a dog or cat at the house. A small kitten might not be a problem, but a larger dog might have the potential to knock over a senior and cause severe injuries, so make sure to ask beforehand.

3/ Ask about night guests – If there are any seniors who will be sleeping over during the holidays, make sure there is sufficient lighting in the hallways, bedroom and bathroom to help minimize risk of trips and falls.

Are you hosting family and friends this holiday season? How are you  creating a safe home for seniors? Tell us about it in the comments below.