Summer is here! The days are getting longer, the mercury in the thermometer is climbing higher, and the sun is shining more brightly in the sky.
For families all across the country, the summer months represent a break from school and work. As a result, this season marks a time when plenty of people head outdoors in search of new adventures – often, with senior loved ones coming along for the journey!
Want to empower the senior in your life to make the most of summertime? Here are a few big things to keep in mind as you and your older loved ones plan for a summer full of new adventures, trips, and experiences:
Look for Fun Activities
One of the best ways to help your elderly loved one enjoy the summertime is to find fun, safe, senior-friendly activities around your community. There are likely countless options happening near you, all summer long!
Be sure to reach out to your elderly loved one and see what they might be interested in doing over the summer. Are they interested in experiencing nature? Do they want to pick up a new hobby? Are they hoping to get more physically active? Do they want to meet new people? Do they love seeing art shows and live performances?
Whatever you and your senior loved one discuss, there are sure to be activities near you worth exploring. For an easy and exciting summer adventure, you and your senior loved one might want to look into:
- Going on nature walks
- Taking an exercise class
- Joining a local pool or aquatic center
- Visiting local gardens, nature preserves, or beaches
- Signing up for an art class
- Attending theater/movie events in the park
- Going to art installations or museum exhibits
- Packing a picnic
Don’t be afraid to get creative and see what activities your senior loved one is most drawn to. Whether you and your loved one take up an activity together, or you help them enjoy their time with the assistance of a senior companion, there are plenty of fun and fulfilling opportunities for adventure out there, often right in your own backyard.
Traveling Long Distance? Prepare Ahead of Time
Are you hoping to bring your entire family, including seniors, along for a road trip or a flight this year? Whether you’re planning a brief trip to a family reunion or scheduling out an extravagant vacation, it’s important to plan ahead to accommodate your senior traveling companions.
Whether commuting by car, bus, or plane, be sure to think ahead about how you can make traveling as safe and easy as possible for any elderly passengers. Often, this is going to mean having a clear-cut itinerary ready to go, with plenty of time for rest stops and breaks built in. If you need to catch a plane or a train, you may also want to build in extra time, to help make sure your loved one doesn’t feel rushed as they navigate the train station or airport.
Similarly, be sure to have a list of things your senior might need for the trip. This will often include packing all of your senior family’s medications and health equipment (like batteries for hearing aids, prescription sunglasses, and mobility aids), copies of important paperwork (passport, photo ID, and so on), and bringing along supplies like fresh changes of clothes, blankets and pillows, and plenty of healthy snacks and drinks.
When traveling, you might also want to look into getting senior-friendly accommodations. Many airlines and airports have services specifically designed to help seniors stay comfortable, for example. When booking a hotel, you may want to request senior-friendly lodging, like a first-floor bedroom.
Prepare for Summer Sun and Heat
The summer months are all about fun in the sun – but it’s also important to remember that the “dog days” of summer can mean heavy humidity, sweltering temperatures, and other dangerous weather conditions.
As you and your senior loved one plan for plenty of summer adventures, don’t forget to think about safety. Helping your older loved one avoid the health hazards of the season is one of the very best ways to empower them to have a fun, festive, enjoyable summertime. For seniors and family caregivers, staying safe over the summer is going to mean thinking about:
- Sun Protection: Help your elderly loved one to apply sunscreen before going outdoors, and help them reapply as the day goes on. You’ll also want to help your loved one dress for the summer weather, with shady hats and loose, comfortable clothing to help avoid sun damage.
- Hydration: Make sure your senior loved one drinks plenty of cool water, especially on hot days. The more active the senior is, the more they’ll need to drink.
- Heat Management: On particularly hot or dangerous days, encourage your loved one to avoid going outside. You may want to help them get their HVAC systems serviced, and look into cooling home “hacks,” like having chilled foods and cold compresses on hand throughout the season. It’s also important for family caregivers to know the warning signs for dehydration, heat exhaustion, and hyperthermia, so they can help their senior loved ones avoid suffering serious complications due to the weather.
Bring On a Helping Hand
The summer months can be an incredibly invigorating time to get out and get active, for people of all ages. If you want to help the elderly adult in your life experience all that the season has to offer, it might help to reach out for some additional help, including working with an experienced senior companion.
A professional companion can help step in and provide the personalized attention and support that your loved one needs in order to truly enjoy the summertime – while also giving family caregivers back some valuable time to rest and recharge.
Available on a flexible schedule that works for your needs as a caregiver, and the wishes of your elderly loved one, a companion can assist in many different ways, from offering driving services for summer outings; to helping your loved one with their summer meal prep; to assisting your loved one with routine activities of daily living (ADLs), like sitting, walking, dressing, and grooming.
Planning to travel a lot this season? A companion can help provide an extra set of hands when you’re out and about with your senior loved one, ensuring that they get the support they need, so you can focus on all of the other moving parts that go into your summer trips. What’s more, a senior companion can be a welcome, friendly face who spends time with your senior family when your schedule gets too hectic. Whether they join your senior loved one to play games, go on outings, share meals, or work in the garden, a companion can make sure your senior feels connected and supported, all summer long – even when you need to spend some time away.
Companions for Seniors Can Help Your Family Make the Most of the Summer
At Companions for Seniors, our mission is to help seniors live independently and with dignity in the comfort of their own home, by empowering them to lead an active and enriched lifestyle, connecting them with their community, and nurturing meaningful relationships.
Our companions are trained and bonded and can help provide a variety of services designed to help your loved one live independently and safely enjoy the summer from the comfort of their own home, including:
- Housekeeping assistance
- Cooking and meal prep
- ADL support
- Driving and transportation services
- Companionship services
Want to help your senior loved ones truly enjoy themselves while they age in place? Looking for some help making your family’s most important summer dreams come true? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us online or give us a call at 866-910-9020 to get the conversation started. We’re here to offer guidance and provide support, in whatever way we can! Empowering the elderly is our passion, and we’d love to share our experiences and expertise with you.