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How to Make Summer Picnics Safer for Aging Adults

By Debbie Waddell, 10:30 am on

Summer picnics are a wonderful way to bond as a family. However, aging adults are at risk of certain illnesses and injuries when they are outdoors. Use these tips to make summer picnics safer for your senior loved one.

Prevent Foodborne Illnesses

A weak immune system makes seniors susceptible to gastrointestinal illnesses caused by food. Make sure to store the food at the appropriate temperature, and avoid using ingredients that are known for spoiling in the heat such as mayonnaise. Make sure your loved one eats early during your outdoor event so the food does not sit out for longer than two hours.

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Placer County in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.

Guard Against the Heat

Seniors are also at high risk of heat stroke. Use a sunshade or umbrella to cover your picnic table, and bring along plenty of cold drinks. During the picnic, stay alert for signs of heat exhaustion such as complaints of dizziness or cold, clammy skin. If you see signs of a heat stroke, get your loved one to a cooler environment and contact emergency help right away.

Keep Them Hydrated

Although picnics are full of delicious things to drink, it is important to realize many of your loved one’s favorite beverages may cause dehydration. For example, teas and sodas containing caffeine can draw moisture out of your loved one’s body. Encourage your loved one to drink water. If your loved one does indulge in an alcoholic or caffeinated beverage, have him or her follow it up with a cool glass of water to rehydrate.

Label Foods

Food allergies also become common with age, and seniors who are still getting used to having allergies may accidentally eat the wrong food. If you’re arranging a potluck, ask everyone who is bringing food to label their dishes with the ingredients.

To keep food allergies at bay, encourage and assist your loved one with preparing healthy meals. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Placer County seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Check the Picnic Site

Outdoor terrains can be challenging for seniors to navigate. When planning a picnic, make sure the outdoor area you choose is accessible to your loved one. For instance, you may need a picnic table that is not on a raised concrete platform, or your loved one may require a ramp to get over the sidewalk curb at a local park. By checking out the setup ahead of time, you can prevent your loved one from falling.

Some seniors need assistance with attending outdoor social events or managing everyday tasks, and they can benefit from professional in-home care. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Placer County Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. To create a customized care plan for your elderly loved one, give us a call at 916.226.3737 today.  

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