Preparing Seniors’ Homes for Visits by Grandchildren

Bringing the family together to share memories and special moments, especially intergenerational events, is cherished time for most families especially for our senior loved ones. Seniors benefit in so many ways when they can interact with young children including improved well-being, mental and emotional health and a more positive outlook on life.

There are, however, some safety tips that family caregivers need to remember when grandchildren and great-grandchildren spend time together with seniors, especially if it is possible they’ll be left in rooms unattended.  After all, it may have been a while since our senior loved ones have had small children in their homes so the house is probably ill equipped for the adventure.

Our senior loved ones might just need our help in child proofing their homes!

Safety Tips for Grandparents when Grandchildren Visit

Be aware of potential hazards in the homes of seniors who haven’t had small children around in some time.

  1. Check for frayed wires or electric dangers, such as cords exposed where they’ll be tempting, that may present themselves to active youngsters
  2. Move fragile items senior would not want broken out of the reach of the children, putting as much up high as you can to be sure it is safely out of reach (don’t forget to move them back later so your senior loved ones aren’t injured retrieving them)
  3. Relocate sentimental items that could be damaged in the hands of young ones like family photo albums or other irreplaceable momentos
  4. Move poisonous plants out of the reach of curious kids
  5. Keep sharp objects out of reach and anything with small pieces that can be easily swallowed or choked on
  6. Keep the number for poison control near the phone in case it is needed
  7. Lock away chemicals that might interest young children and get swallowed
  8. Safely store out of the reach of all children (young ones and teens) your senior’s prescription drugs or over the counter vitamins, minerals and other herbal supplements
  9. Be sure any space heaters or other heat sources are safe for young hands and feet
  10. Put matches, lighters and flammable liquids away so children can’t start a fire
  11. Check out the fire extinguisher (hopefully there is one!) for proper function and replace if needed
  12. Never let a senior drive a child in a car without a car seat (just because they did that back in ‘their day’)
  13. Be aware of even small amounts of water around the house or yard that can cause drowning – –  a child can drown in as little as an inch of water
  14. Be careful about which type of foods are served, such as hot dogs, nuts, popcorn, grapes, hard candy; these can lead to choking especially in children under five years
  15. Remind seniors to watch sleeping children, keeping them on their back and don’t let them nap with seniors to prevent accidents

We love spending time together, but wouldn’t want to have a wonderful experience marred with a preventable accident!

2 thoughts on “Preparing Seniors’ Homes for Visits by Grandchildren”

  1. Thankfully my boys are a bit older, but I tried preparing them as well when we went to visit my grandma in her home. These are very important tips!

    • Thank you Mimi for an excellent point! Not only should we prepare the senior and the senior’s home for a family visit, but also prepare the grandchildren for what might happen during the visit. Having an open discussion about the changes they may see in their grandparents due to aging and how to handle the visit for children and teens is an excellent strategy! It would also be beneficial for the younger members of the family to have a “debriefing” after the visit to help them cope with whatever emotions or concerns arise during the visit. We wish you and your family well and hope you will stop back again soon and check our future posts!

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