When your aging mom or dad expresses a desire to go to the lake or the beach, it’s hard to say no. After all, many elderly adults have spent their lives recreating in these kinds of locations. Whether it’s to join in a family reunion or to visit a favorite place from their childhood, your mom or dad shouldn’t be denied a trip to the beach or lake if it is at all possible.
So what special precautions should you take to make sure your aging mom or dad enjoys themselves at the lake or beach without causing them harm?
Here are 4 tips on taking your aging parent to the lake or the beach:
- Evaluate Their Abilities: Consider your aging parent’s physical and mental needs and how they align with the lake or beach outing. If you are just going for the day, it makes sense to inquire if there are restroom facilities that are easy to get to, shady spots, handicapped parking and boardwalks for even walking. Lots of tourist destinations have features for the elderly and disabled, so you can ask the venue what services and accommodations they have long before going.
- Prepare for the Sun: The summer months mean lots of sunshine, but many elderly adults don’t do well in the heat. Make sure to pack a high SPF sunblock as well as a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Light and loose clothing are important for keeping aging parents cool. You’ll also want to bring your own seating as well as shade (umbrellas or sun shade tents) so your elderly mom or dad can be comfortable as they enjoy the waterfront events.
- Avoid Dehydration: Seniors can become dehydrated quite easily, so it’s important for them to always have access to water. You can fill up a water bottle and encourage them to drink it throughout the day. If they forget, you need to remind them firmly, as dehydration can quickly lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Hire Help: Consider hiring an elder care provider to accompany the family on the lake or beach trip. Professional elder care providers are experienced in taking care of seniors in their own home, and they can bring that expertise to the venue. Many seniors need help with daily tasks like getting in and out of a wheelchair, getting dressed and hygiene. Having an elder care provider for your aging mom or dad allows them to be there with the family without sacrificing what they need.
Even if your aging parent isn’t very mobile, there are plenty of things you can do to help them accompany the rest of the family to a lake or beach reunion. With careful planning, lots of support and plenty of teamwork between family members, friends, venue staff and elder care providers, seniors can enjoy the lake or beach immensely.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Middleburg, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.