Tips for Enjoying Water Recreation with Your Senior Parent

Posted: 7/11/2018 2:01 PM by Interim HealthCare
Taking trips and enjoying new experiences are essential parts of the summertime months for many families. Many people love taking the opportunities presented by warmer, longer days, breaks from school, and an overall more leisurely pace of life during the summer season to enjoy quality time as a family, and go on trips to take a break from daily life. If your senior loved one is adventurous, they may be looking forward to summertime trips filled with activities and experiences, such as water recreation. Getting out onto the water to boat, fish, or even experience something more thrilling such as water skiing, are fun, but in order for your aging parent to truly enjoy them, it is important for you as a family caregiver to plan ahead and make sure these experiences are safe and accessible.

Use these tips to enjoy water recreation with your senior parents:
  • If you are planning on enjoying a type of water recreation involving a professional service or company, contact them in advance to get more details about the activity. Talk to them about restrictions such as height or weight, and if there are any health issues or challenges that would prevent your parent from being able to participate safely and comfortably.
  • Make sure your parent, as well as everyone else in your family who will be close to the water, wears a life jacket. Make sure the life jacket is approved by the US Coast Guard, and that your senior knows how to put it on properly. They should wear this life jacket at all times when they are near the water, including if they are just sitting in a boat.
  • Encourage your aging parent to wear proper clothing and footwear when planning on being near the water. Shoes that are too slippery can lead to your parent falling and experiencing a serious injury.
  • Make sure your parent is properly prepared with sunscreen and bug repellent before heading out on their adventure. Many people are under the misconception that being in water reduces the risk of sunburn or sun damage, but the opposite can be true. Sunrays can reflect off of the water putting their skin, and particularly their eyes, at even greater risk. Ensure they wear sun protection in the form of sunscreen, sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and proper clothing.
  • Encourage your senior to be a part of the experience even if they are not able to participate fully. Your senior may feel left out, and experience negative mental and emotional consequences such as loneliness and a loss of sense of relevance if they see everyone in the family participating in fun activities they are no longer able to handle. If your family wants to do an activity your parent cannot enjoy, plan for a way they can experience it as well. For example, many companies allow for observers to be in the boat when someone is doing an activity such as tubing, water skiing, or hang gliding. This keeps your parent a close part of the experience, while also respecting their limitations.

 If you are a family caregiver for an aging adult who is living with mobility challenges, balance problems, cognitive functioning decline, or other issues, you may worry that they are no longer able to participate in the types of activities and events they once enjoyed with your family. You may be concerned that the summertime fun you've been planning, such as water recreation, may no longer be accessible for your parents. This, however, does not necessarily have to be the case. Elderly care can make it possible for you to participate in activities with you and your family, while also giving you peace of mind that they are safe and getting everything they need. An elderly home care services provider to continue to provide them with the support, care, and assistance they utilize on a daily basis to address their specific needs and challenges, and participate in the activities in the ways that are best for them. Having this care provider also means you are able to step back and enjoy yourself, while knowing that if your parent  requires support and care, needs help participating, or gets tired and wants to go rest, their elderly home care services provider can give them what they need.

Learn more about elderly care.