Tips for Making Summer Celebrations & Getaways Senior Friendly
The longer days of summer create multiple opportunities for get-togethers and trips with older family and friends. Here are some tips to make senior travel and summer events for aging adults more successful and less stressful.
Outdoor Summer Safety Tips
Talk with your senior to avoid surprises and to make sure summer festivities are enjoyable for everyone. These tips from Always Best Care Senior Services in Asheville, NC, can add to your senior’s comfort level and enjoyment.
Access: to food, water and bathrooms.
Stay hydrated. The elderly are more prone to dehydration. As we age, our body’s ability to conserve water is reduced, our sense of thirst is diminished, and we’re less able to adapt to changes in temperature. Additionally, common medications, like diuretics taken for high blood pressure, can compound the problem of dehydration. PRO TIP: Spruce up plain water with a dash of fruit juice or maple syrup to make it more enjoyable
Medication: since some prescriptions need to be taken at specific times of day or with specific types of food
Review dietary restrictions and medication interactions. Prepare dishes that are compatible and help seniors make healthy and safe choices. Read more about medication interactions and management.
Temperature: because many older people are more heat sensitive
Remind your senior to wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses are also helpful. See more healthy senior skin tips for summer. Find a shady spot for your senior to sit, pack a large umbrella for outdoor gatherings, and bring sunscreen. PRO TIP: You need sunscreen even under cloudy skies or while in the water.
Terrain: particularly for seniors with mobility issues
Plan ahead for any obstacles, like stairs, steep inclines/decline and uneven ground that can be difficult to navigate.
Duration: especially if the activity is physically or emotionally strenuous
Bring a sturdy chair with adequate support — or claim one at the family gathering — so your older relations can get up and sit down safely and with confidence.
Senior Travel Tips
Traveling with a 50-plus family member? Try these ideas to make the trip easier on them and you:
- Consult with your relative’s doctor about safety or health concerns, vaccination and other medical requirements. Update their supply of prescribed meds and their schedules.
- Let the TSA, airlines, rail carriers or coach services know of your family member’s special needs, including cognitive issues. Learn more about seniors and the TSA.
- Research hospitals and care centers at your destination ahead of time, and bring your senior’s insurance information, list of medications, and personal doctor contacts.
- Pack medication, important documents, favorite snacks, a light sweater, and entertainment in a bag that’s easily accessible during the journey.
- Maintain as predictable a routine as possible to reduce stress and anxiety for your loved ones with cognitive conditions or Alzheimer’s. Get the facts about sundowner syndrome.
- Plan for plenty of breaks, whether it’s taking time for a full meal or simply stopping at a rest area for fresh air and a good stretch.
Use these tips to get you and your aging loved ones ready for senior travel and summer festivities!