Summer is finally here! If you are a caregiver for an aging parent or relative, you might be wondering how best to take advantage of the long, sunny days ahead. While it is important to take precautions against sunburn and heatstroke for both you and your senior, there is no reason why you and your aging loved one can’t spend time outdoors, enjoying the weather.
There are many things that you can your loved one can do together, or things that you can do with the entire family! Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Picnics – Everyone loves a nice picnic, and they are fairly easy to pull off! Simply make some sandwiches (or something bigger and more complex if you and your loved one like to cook together) and head for the park, or even your backyard. Find a shady spot under a tree or a gazeebo and eat the lunch you prepared at a picnic table or on a blanket on the ground. This is a great activity to do with the entire family, especially when younger children are involved, because after you finish eating, you and your senior can watch the children play on the swings or the slide!
- Walks – If your aging loved one still has a reasonably easy time getting around, a walk outside might be perfect for you both. Walking is great exercise, and exercise is very important for helping your loved one to maintain a healthy body and immune system. You can walk around the block, you can walk on the walking track at the park – the good thing about walking is that you can do it pretty much anywhere!
- Gardening – While most people think that spring is the best time to garden, many plants such as beans and corn are still perfectly suited for planting in the warmer summer months. If your loved one has trouble with arthritis, there are many special tools you can get for them to make gardening easier and more accessible, and if they have difficulty sitting or squatting to work in the soil, there is equipment and other modifications available for that too.
- Home improvements – Maybe your aging parent shouldn’t get on a ladder to clean out the gutter, but they can certainly keep you company while you do so! They can also help with simpler, less dangerous tasks such as freshening up the paint on the side of the house, or cleaning the sidewalk (as long as their health conditions allow). Jobs like this are always more enjoyable if you aren’t doing them alone, and being able to help you will make your senior feel useful and self-confident.
The summer holds endless possibilities for everyone, including caregivers and the elderly loved ones they care for. This list is just a small fraction of all of the activities you could do together – there are many more that you and your loved one will think of once you decide to get outdoors and get active!
If you or a senior family member are considering hiring a professional caregiver in Wayne, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Caring Solutions Home Care LLC. In-home senior care servicing Bergen & Passaic Counties. Call today (973) 427-3553.
I started my career as an ICU nurse over 30 years ago. I have functioned as an educator and preceptor mentoring new nurses in the clinical arena. I have sat on many Patient Care committees authoring a variety of patient care protocols.
In 2007, I saw an opportunity to improve the delivery of patient care services in the home and founded Caring Solutions Home Care. Over the last 10 years I have functioned as the Director of Nursing overseeing all client care, administrative and personnel operations.