Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Home for the Holidays


Submitted by HCR–ManorCare: Heartland Health Care and ManorCare Health Services

The holiday season is fast approaching, and with it comes the annual joy of family gatherings. Generations come together to celebrate and reunite and we create memories that last a lifetime. If your guest list includes an older loved one who lives in a residential care facility, it’s important to make sure their visit will be safe and happy for everyone.


  • Are there stairs leading into your home?
  • Can your guest safely climb a few steps?
  • Are there handrails?
  • Are the doors and hallways wheelchair accessible?

Clear The Way, to Help Eliminate Falls:

  • Remove all throw rugs and secure edges of area rugs.
  • Create clear, wide paths around furniture.
  • Keep rooms and hallways free of clutter.
  • Secure or remove extension cords or other electrical cords.

Rest Room

  • Do you have a first floor rest room?
  • Is it wheelchair or walker accessible?
  • If there is no bathroom, or if it is inaccessible, is there a private area where you can set a commode?


  • Is there a quiet place to lie down and rest?

Dietary Needs

  • Are there any diet restrictions? Be mindful of salt, sugar, and fat.
  • Adapt favorite recipes to fit within dietary restrictions.
  • Is there a mealtime schedule that must be observed? Some conditions, like diabetes, require meals at regular intervals.

Medication Schedule

  • Remind your loved one to bring all medications that will be needed.
  • Take medicine on time.

Memory Concerns

  • If your holiday guest has Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, there are some special precautions you can take to help ensure their safety:
        • Make sure exterior doors are securely closed and locked to prevent wandering.
        • Keep the noise level to a minimum, lower voices.
        • Serve foods that are easy to eat and manage.

It’s a good idea to speak with your loved one’s care team about your upcoming plans and ask for their assistance in planning the visit. They can help you to plan a schedule that will work with both you and your loved one’s needs and allow you to make any advance preparations necessary.

Balance, HCR ManorCare’s comprehensive health and wellness blog, supplies readers with healthy ideas throughout the year. The blog is designed to serve as a resource, not only for patients, residents and families, but for anyone who strives to live a healthy, “balanced” life. For more information and help making healthy choices, go to balance.hcr-manorcare.com.