Summer holidays are coming up. For many people, seniors included, this means family gatherings, more shopping expeditions, and possibly a bit of travel. December is also accident-prevention month on the Health Calendar.
Here are a few holiday tips to make this a safe and healthy end of 2012.
- Remember to make sure you have any necessary medication (and even a bit extra) before the festive season starts. The last thing you want to deal with is running out of hypertension tablets on Christmas Day when all the pharmacies are closed. Make sure you pack all your medication if you are going away – preferably keep everything in its original containers, especially if you are going overseas.
- Don't be tempted to climb up onto ladders and chairs to put up decorations, especially if you are at home on your own. Nasty accidents have happened this way. In fact, in the UK most DIY accidents involve ladders.
- Crowded shopping centres can be both overwhelming and dangerous if you are slightly less steady on your feet. Give a relative a shopping list, or go to the shops the minute they open and before the crowds arrive. Someone else's shopping trolley can give you a nasty injury, and spills, especially in supermarkets can give you a nasty fall.
- Do make plans for the festive season in advance, especially if you are on your own. Loneliness and depression can be very real problems over the holiday time. Also be aware that large family gatherings can be noisy and confusing, so try to limit the time you are exposed to them if you find it overwhelming.
- If you are in someone else's house, take care not to trip over slippery rugs, or fall over kids' toys. Be very aware of your changed surroundings, especially when you are in rooms with tiled surfaces, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Also limit your alcohol intake as a glass or two too many can make you accident-prone.
- Watch what you eat, especially if you have a condition such as diabetes. There could be hidden carbohydrates in a million unfamiliar foods. If you have digestive disorders of any kind, you will ultimately be happy if you avoid the temptation of festive fare in excess.
- If you are driving to a holiday destination, try and choose a travelling time that doesn't fall in peak times such as long weekends or the day schools break up. Use the fact that you are not tied to a job or school terms to your advantage.
- Rather than spending the day on your own, invite a friend/neighbour or two over. Divide the cooking between you, and take out a DVD. There is no need for anyone to be miserable on any of these holidays.