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As Sandwich Generation senior home care givers and grandparents, we can have several challenges in melding the needs of our senior parents and our very young grandkids. One prime example is that we want to allow grandkids to play freely while at the same time keeping safe areas and fall protection for our elderly parents and/or our wobbly toddlers who are just learning to walk.
If you are one of those who are blessed with the gift of keeping things totally immaculate without even trying, you probably won’t have an issue in this area. For those, like me, who are not so blessed, it’s a constant challenge to make sure we keep things picked up so my senior mom OR another grandkid don’t suffer any falls
Some of the things we’ve learned to watch for include:
- Keeping doorways clear for senior parents and shaky toddlers. For some reason, children seem to LOVE to play in doorways. I don’t think twice walking around or over them, but aging parents and tiny toddlers aren’t able to do this safely. Now I routinely remind them not to play there at all.
- Gates are vital for young ones – not to mention puppies – but aging parents might not notice them since they are at knee level. For that matter, they might see the gate, lift their legs over it but not be able to get them up high enough, then trip and suffer falls. Since I, who am usually very spry, just did that tonight, I can testify to how easy that is! 🙂
- Aging eyes don’t see toys as easy as young eyes, and even small toys can cause a shaky senior OR toddler to trip. Marbles are fun for the tween ages, but can cause falls for the older and younger AND pose a choking danger to the wee ones. The same goes for LEGO and other tiny toys. Keeping them picked up is time consuming but easy fall protection.
- Dimmed light can be useful to try to get the young’uns to sleep but make it easy for great-grandma to slip and fall.
- Rugs – even rubber-backed ones – can cause the very young and the elderly to slip and fall, particularly if they get turned up or rumpled. The rubber-backed ones are vital, but even they need to be regularly monitored to be sure they are flat and safe.
These are just a few ways to provide family safety through fall protection. I try to stop and think things through every couple of days, and look around the house for areas that might be a problem. If you have suggestions of things to watch for, we’d love to hear about them in the comments section below. And, be sure to sign up for the SandwichINK free email for more info and ideas for the Sandwich Generation.