Preparing For Your Elderly Parents

When grandparents visit, it can be an exciting time with lots of activity and distractions. The children may be unusually active and excited, as well as the parents and grandparents. This may set the stage for accidents and injuries to occur. 

Today, more and more adults over the age of 65 are on several medications. These medications are usually more toxic and thus more dangerous if swallowed by children.  When the grandparents arrive, their medications will either be in suitcases or a purse, both of which children love to explore.

Since grandparents may not have their medications in child-proof containers, all medications, cosmetics, creams in tubes and any other potentially dangerous substance must be secured in a safe place as soon as the grandparents arrive. You can help by providing a locked cabinet, drawer or closet for storage. Having a designated place arranged before the grandparent’s arrival will help you store these products immediately.

Grandparents may think of over-the-counter medications as being safe. However, even vitamins, diet supplements, and common medications, such as Tylenol, aspirin, and ibuprofen can be fatal in the hands of a child. 

You will need constant vigilance to ensure that your children are not getting into their grandparent’s belongings. If the grandparents have any difficulties with memory or confusion, you may need to keep the medications for them.  

When grandparents visit and there is lots of excitement, it may be unclear as to who is responsible for watching the children. Many tragedies have occurred when one parent thought that someone else was supervising the children. Take turns watching the children, but always make sure that the designated person is aware it is his or her “turn.” 

Be careful during distractions, such as the phone, doorbell, or listening to an exciting story that grandpa is telling. It only takes a second for a child to get into a potentially dangerous situation. Always remember that constant supervision is the best safety measure.

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