Senior couple reading a city map during outingTaking seniors on outings is a great way to get them out, keep them active, and make some great memories. However, before embarking on an outing with seniors, there are many factors that you may have to keep in mind. Failing to take those needs into account can lead to a number of problems, from heat-related health issues to injury. With these tips, however, you can ensure a safe, fun senior outing with your loved one who may receive care from Belleville Senior Services in Belleville, NJ.

1. Choose an Outing That Reflects the Senior’s Capability

Carefully consider what the senior is able to accomplish and how much physical capability they have. You might not want to take a senior with limited energy along on a hiking trip, for example. Think about things like:

  • Is the activity you’re considering outdoors? What is the current outdoor temperature?
  • How much walking will be involved in the activity?
  • Are there any dangers or hazards associated with the activity?

When taking a senior loved one along for a day of fun, make sure you carefully consider what type of activity will be both safe and fun for them. You want a location that will be enjoyable for everyone!

2. Take Along Necessary Equipment

Does your senior loved one need a walker to get around? Do they need the help of a wheelchair to make it easier for them to stay comfortable and remain with the family through the outing? Make sure you have those items with you.

In addition, make sure you have any medical equipment your senior loved one might need over the course of the day, including medications or oxygen.

Going outside? You’ll want to make sure that you have sunscreen (and apply it at least 30 minutes before you head outdoors). You’ll also want to make sure that you either have water on hand or have easy access to it.

3. Plan to Stay Close to Your Loved One

When you’re headed out with a senior loved one, it’s easy to get ahead of them or leave them on their own. You might, for example, end up slipping away to enjoy an activity while they sit on a bench to take a break, or move faster while walking. Instead of leaving your senior loved one alone, however, make sure you have a clear plan in place for staying close to your loved one. Designate a family member in a larger group to stick close to the seniors and ensure their health and safety, and try to keep everyone together when possible.

If you have a senior loved one with an underlying health condition like dementia or Alzheimer’s, which could cause them to wander, make sure that you stay particularly close. You may want to keep an eye on a senior loved one with memory issues at all times, especially if they are prone to wandering.

4. Keep Hydrated

Hydration is particularly important during the hot summer months, but it can be equally vital at other times of the year. Take along a water bottle and encourage your loved one to take regular water breaks. Keep in mind that some seniors may forget to take regular breaks to drink or may try to avoid drinking so they can reduce their bathroom trips.

5. Offer a Hand When Needed

In many cases, you may need to offer your senior loved one a hand over uneven ground. As seniors age, they have less overall mobility and more brittle bones, which can lead to more serious injury in a fall. To help keep your loved one safe, make sure you take things slow and offer a hand when needed. Take your loved one’s arm or offer them support. Encourage them to use handrails. In addition, you may want to keep a careful eye on your loved one if you’re outside or on uneven ground.

6. Be Prepared to Leave When Your Loved One Tires

A senior loved one may tire far faster than the other members of the family, especially if you find yourself engaged in an active event with a lot of people around. Take plenty of breaks throughout the day to give your loved one a chance to rest. If your loved one gets very tired, however, it may be time to head home for the day, even if you haven’t accomplished everything you planned to accomplish. Remember, you can always come back to the location on another day.

7. Don’t Forget Illness Safety Precautions, if Needed

Covid-19 safety concerns have dominated for the past couple of years. Even as the CDC eases restrictions, your loved one may still be concerned about the potential implications of illness. Your loved one may feel more comfortable getting out and about if you are able to mask, social distance, or stay outside. You may also want to consider rapid testing any family members who will be in close contact to help increase overall safety.

Find More Advice About Senior Care From Belleville Senior Services

Are you ready to head out for a fun, safe senior activity? By following these critical steps, you can help keep your loved one safer and increase the fun for everyone in the family. Talk to Belleville Senior Services in Belleville, NJ to learn more about the best way to help protect your senior loved one on an outing.