The holidays are upon us, along with parties and celebrations with our families, friends and fur-kids. And there are probably some older adults on your guest list this year – mom and dad, grandparents and dear friends who’ve seen a few more Decembers than we have. Plan ahead to ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone, and to prevent many unfortunate “incidents of the season.”
Often, both our seniors and pets don’t receive necessary attention during holiday events, especially if their family members are busy attending to many guests. The holidays can be joyful but unpredictable for seniors, who prefer routine daily schedules for their meals, medications, and other personal needs. Late nights, multiple distractions and unfamiliar surroundings can add to the stress. And pets get confused, or even defensive, when surrounded by a house full of people, food and excitement.
Trips and falls are common causes of injuries for older people, and others. The risks escalate in dimly-lit or crowded rooms, and where there is uneven flooring and loose rugs. Your partying pets can be another hazard, especially if they tend to lounge in hallways or traffic patterns. Even hardier guests can take a spill while they concentrate on carrying their drinks and buffet plates, not realizing that Bowser is underfoot. And remember that your precious pet could be the casualty of a fall, as well.
Despite your best intentions, it’s difficult to manage your pet’s safety while entertaining your guests. So allow your pet to say “hello” to everyone and then place him in his crate in a quiet part of the house. You’ll prevent many unfortunate events – including a big-bucks trip to the all-night vet because Fluffy foraged the garbage or begged every guest for chips and dip.
And don’t forget that pets can easily sneak out of the house as people come and go. Don’t let your pet become a statistic this holiday season by not considering his safety in advance. It isn’t cruel to limit your pet’s engagement in your holiday festivities – it’s loving pet ownership.
Whether you are responsible for pets or people this holiday, qualified providers are available to help. This includes pet care specialists for your furry friends, and in-home senior care professionals for mom and dad, or the grandparents. With a little advance planning, you can ensure the holidays are comfortable, safe and memorable for everyone.
Alexis Parian is an Arizona-Certified Caregiver and Director of Community Outreach for Griswold Special Care, a Valley-wide provider of non-medical homecare services. She is also mom to a ferret and a Great Dane puppy. Contact Alexis at Griswold Special Care, 480-275-7200.