Staying safe from harm is essential to having a merry holiday season. Few things can spoil your Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas, like having a car accident, breaking a bone in a fall, or being a victim of crime. Predators love to target older adults, even more so during the festive times. Here are 3 tips for seniors to stay safe during the holidays.
- How Not to Become a Crime Victim
Online scams operate year-round, and the holidays are their high season. Do not click on links you get in emails for deals that sound too good to be true. Only buy from reputable online vendors.
We know how much fun it is to brag on Facebook you are going to Hawaii for Christmas, but when you do so, you are letting burglars know that you will be away from home. Unless you want to come back to a ransacked house, wait until you get home to post those luau photos.
Although it is cheery to have a huge decorated tree in the front windows of the house, piling presents around it is an advertisement to anyone driving or walking by. Keep presents out of the view of people, who are outside your home.
Check tracking information on package deliveries. Using a video doorbell or similar security device will deter “porch pirates” from stealing packages from your house and give you video evidence if someone liberates any of your shipping boxes, despite your security efforts. Consider having orders delivered to your office, instead of your home, unless someone is usually at home all day.
- Safe Shopping
Two of your most prevalent risks with going to brick-and-mortar stores are falling accidents and parking lot mishaps. Therefore, when you stroll happily through the mall and department stores looking at the decorations and listening to the carols, allocate some of your attention toward safety.
Crowded malls are littered with tripping hazards. Children run down the aisles, and people spill beverages and throw trash onto the floor. If there is snow on the ground, you might not see a change in elevation on the sidewalk or a pothole in the crosswalk.
Shopping center parking lots are also dangerous places for pedestrian accidents with cars. Be watchful for moving vehicles, when walking between your car and the store.
Winter roads, holiday traffic and drunk drivers combine to create a trifecta of road hazards. Avoid driving after dark to minimize your risk of “black ice” and impaired drivers. Since it gets dark early during the winter months, driving only during daylight hours is not always an option, so be extra vigilant when behind the wheel.
BONUS TIP: besides staying safe during the holidays, do what you can to remain healthy. Avoid sick people, get plenty of rest and drink extra water to balance out that holiday rum punch. Don’t forget to take your medication on schedule, with all the festivities throwing you out of your usual routine.
Your state might have different regulations than the general law covered in this article, so talk with an elder law attorney near you.
Calgary Police. “12 tips of Christmas (crime prevention).” (accessed October 19, 2018) http://calgarydowntown.com/imagedir/File/calgary-police/12%20TIPS%20OF%20CHRISTMAS.pdf