In just under two weeks, Halloween will be here! The annual occasion is full of spooky fun for kids and adults alike. However, as we deck our halls with ghoulish decorations, it’s super important to be mindful about safety. This is especially true if there are seniors in the household. Remember that tripping hazards and other dangers can lurk amidst the festive decor. Taking proper precautions can ensure a “spooktacular” and safe Halloween for everyone.
How can you hone a hazard-free home for seniors during Halloween?
Keep pathways clear as you induce fear this Halloween!
Before decorating, take a close look at your home’s walkways. Make sure to clear them of any potential tripping hazards. It’s the fall season so that means removing leaves and branches in addition to any uneven paving stones that could cause someone to stumble. If you’re using extension cords for your decorations, tape them securely to the ground or use cord covers. Avoid running cords across walkways and opt for wireless decorations where possible. This will minimize clutter.
Rethink that welcome mat of yours. To avoid having the mat become a tripping hazard, ensure that it is flat, secure and doesn’t curl up at the edges. Consider using a non-slip backing or replacing it with a Halloween-themed mat that is designed for safety.
It’s also a good idea to keep your yard well-maintained. This will help both your elderly loved ones and trick-or-treaters to navigate your property safely. Do you enjoy setting up elaborate yard displays? If so, create clear pathways with ample room for guests to walk through without tripping over decorations. Use reflective tape or lighting to guide the way.
Make things bright as you create fright!
With the fall season in full swing, the days are growing shorter. While this makes for optimal spookiness during Halloween, it also means that good lighting is crucial for home safety. Be sure to illuminate your walkways, driveways and entry points with well-placed outdoor lighting. Opt for pathway lights, solar-powered lanterns or LED string lights. This will enable the seniors in your home to avoid tripping hazards when venturing outdoors. It will also guide trick-or-treaters safely to your door.
“Whether you’re loved one is going to be away from the house on Halloween or at home handing out treats, make sure their porch light is working and the exterior and interior of the home is brightly lit,” adds FirstLight Home Care.
Of course, indoor lighting matters too. Ensure that all walkways and areas with decorations are well-lit. Doing so will prevent tripping over cords, props or rugs. When it comes to illumination, it’s best to go faux. Bright, battery-operated LED candles are a safer alternative to open flames. They reduce the risk of fires.
Keep decorations secure so chills they allure!
Halloween decorations can get quite creative. Be cautious about where and how you place them. Use double-sided tape or removable adhesive hooks to secure decorations to walls, doors and windows. Avoid the use of nails, tacks or glue that can damage surfaces and create tripping hazards. As well, securely tape all wires and cords along baseboards or under rugs. That way, they won’t be in the way.
You may want to consider using battery-operated decorations instead of those that require cords. If you must use extension cords, make sure they’re rated for outdoor use and in good condition. Keep them tucked away and out of high-traffic areas. Indoor cords should be unobtrusive and well-taped to prevent tripping. Also, safely anchor outdoor decorations like inflatables or scarecrows. Strong gusts of wind can blow them over, posing a risk to anyone nearby. Use sandbags, heavy-duty stakes or water-filled bases to keep them stable.
While they’re not exactly Halloween decorations, it’s should be mentioned that area rugs and carpets should lie flat and be securely anchored. Use non-slip rug pads to prevent them from sliding and tape down any loose corners or edges. When placing a rug over carpet, ensure that it is smooth and even to prevent tripping.
Hang your adornments high while you terrify!
To inspire fright and induce chills, many Halloween decorations are low-hanging. We’re talking about ghosts, bats, spiders and spider webs. They help to make for an effective haunted house, but can also pose tripping risks. It’s wise to hang these decorations high enough that they won’t be within reach. Make sure any strings, wires or ropes used for hanging are not dangling at head or foot level.
Go light on your decorations as well. By that, we mean opting for those that are lightweight and made from non-breakable materials. Fragile decorations, like glass pumpkins or ceramic figurines, can shatter if they fall, creating a hazardous mess. Also, be mindful of decorations that make noise or sudden movements. While they can be a lot of fun, they might startle visitors, especially seniors. You don’t want to create any accidental falls.
Provide a seat while the kids trick-or-treat!
Do the older adults in your home like getting in on the action on Halloween night? If they would like to hand out Halloween candy, be sure to place chairs by the front door. That way, they can easily greet trick-or-treaters while seated and without having to do much walking back and forth. Be sure to keep your elderly loved ones company as well!
“Instead of having your elderly loved one hand out Halloween candy alone, join them!” encourages FirstLight Home Care, “This is especially important if they are living with dementia or physical limitations. It will make everyone feel more comfortable, and they’ll be safe throughout the night!”
Do you plan on hosting a Halloween party that seniors will be attending? Provide enough seating options throughout your home and outdoor spaces. This will reduce the need for people to stand for long periods, helping prevent fatigue and potential falls. Consider lightweight, portable seating like folding chairs or benches. Place them strategically to encourage guests to take breaks as needed.
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we thrive on making homes safer for both seniors and individuals with mobility issues. We always identify product solutions that match your specific needs. There are many products available, but we are happy to consult with you to fully understand what you’re trying to accomplish. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page! Happy Halloween!