Memorial Day is this coming weekend, the unofficial kick-off to summer. It’s the first of the summer cookouts and family and friend gatherings. It can be a wonderful opportunity for your senior loved one to get out of the house and socialize. But, it is important for caregivers to understand the necessity of being well prepared for a summer event.
For many, a summer event can be an exciting and anticipated activity, but for a senior who has a fear of falling, it could result in anxiety or complete avoidance. So, before we even get to summertime event preparation tips, you first must find out whether or not your loved one would like to attend a summer event. To do that simply ask. It is important to communicate clearly to your elderly loved one that they are welcome, wanted and not a burden. As a family caregiver, you will have to use your knowledge of your loved one to perhaps read between the lines and discover whether or not they are avoiding an event out of fear (of being a burden, falling, the unknown, etc) or if they simply have no desire to attend.
If there is a summer event that you think your elderly loved one would enjoy, here are a few tips to help prepare for a fun and safe outing:
1. Proper clothing and a hat. Be sure that your senior loved one is dressed appropriately for the weather– loose, lightweight clothing that also protects against the sun. A hat is always recommended for the summer. If an elderly person isn’t able to get out of the house much, more time and attention may need to be given to personal hygiene activities such as shaving, hair fixing, and makeup.
2. Proper sunscreen and sunglasses. Encourage your loved one to wear sunglasses and apply appropriate sunscreen. You may need to assist with thorough application of sunscreen.
3. Bring a sturdy chair. Think ahead to the atmosphere, what the seating will be like, and if there is enough seating. Bring your own lawn chair. Make sure it is sturdy, not low to the ground, and allows for your loved one to sit and stand easily.
4. Seek shade. Set up your sturdy chair in a shaded area where your loved one can be a part and observe the activity.
5. Bring water. It is important to stay hydrated in the summer heat. Bring your own cooler with water.
6. Give yourself time. Normal activities will take longer. Plan accordingly so you aren’t rushing or hurrying the senior.
7. Enjoy the moment. Let go of your stress and your to-do lists and enjoy the company of your senior loved one.
Do you have any other preparation tips for summertime events? Comment below or share on our Facebook page!
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