Family Caregivers: Planning Fun Outings for Your Loved One

Posted: 8/8/2016 8:04 AM by Interim HealthCare
Ever been cooped up because you were sick or there was a period of bad weather? If so, you how frustrating, even depressing, it can be. So you can imagine what it would be like to be confined to your home day in and day out, as some seniors are. The same four walls may well be the only environment they see for days at a time. As the person responsible for family caregiving for a loved one or aging parent, it's important for both your emotional being and theirs, to try getting out and about whenever possible. They need to be stimulated mentally, physically and emotionally in order to help prevent feeling isolated and becoming depressed. 

An Outing with an Older Adult can be Enjoyable

While the thought of taking an elderly person on an outing can feel overwhelming there are ways to make it easier and more enjoyable for you both.  There are plenty of places the two of you can go: Go for a drive just looking at people, places and things; a favorite restaurant; a movie; a play; a shopping mall; a museum; a bowling alley; a park; a zoo or the local animal shelter; the local senior center or YMCA; or just a simple walk around the neighborhood or on a nature trail; and this is just for starters. Even if confined to a wheelchair, most places these days are handicap-accessible, so that shouldn’t stop you.

Outings with some seniors can rarely, if ever, be spontaneous. You need to consider the outing to ensure that your loved one can do it. If there’s a lot of walking involved or something is not handicap-accessible, you may have to come up with something else. You should also make sure that there are restrooms nearby or benches in case they need to rest for a bit.

And before leaving you should make sure you have everything you may need: This includes any medications your loved one has to take while gone; appropriate clothing and shoes; sunscreen and insect repellant, in case you’ll be spending time outdoors; a blanket in case you want to sit down in the park or your loved one becomes chilled; something to eat or drink, like fruits or vegetables, water, etc., just in case you get delayed somewhere.

Once out of the house, as a caregiver your work is still ongoing, as you must be ever-vigilant for hazards that may pop up, or problems that can occur.

Despite the planning and extra attention you must give, your loved one will very much enjoy the change, not to mention benefit from it. You may also benefit from doing something different and semi-relaxing.  If these kinds of outings just aren’t possible, come up with games or activities you can do while staying at home. 
If you have an aging loved one in need of professional caregiver contact Interim HealthCare today.