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How to Make a Summer Picnic Safer for the Elderly

By Debbie Waddell, 9:00 am on July 4, 2017

Summer picnics are a wonderful way to take advantage of blue skies and warm temperatures. However, for seniors, eating in the great outdoors can pose some concerns. Here are a few tips to help keep your senior loved one safe at a summer picnic. 

Bring Plenty of Water

Seniors are susceptible to dehydration, especially when exposed to hot summer temperatures. To stay appropriately hydrated throughout the picnic, your loved one should drink a healthy amount of water. Bring along a water bottle marked with measurements so your loved one can gauge his or her liquid intake over the course of the afternoon. He or she should also avoid caffeinated beverages, which can increase the risk of dehydration. 

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Roseville families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Protect Against Sun Damage

The sun can damage a senior’s skin. UVA rays, which penetrate deep into the skin, can lead to photoaging and discoloration. UVB rays, which primarily affect the surface of the skin, can cause sunburns and skin cancer. As senior skin tends to be fragile and sensitive, it can be quick to burn. To prevent sunburns, make sure your loved one applies sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and one coat of sunscreen may not be enough. If the picnic lasts for several hours, your loved one may need to reapply to prevent skin damage. If possible, your loved one should try to spend most of the time in the shade. 

The eyes can also be damaged by the sun. Make sure your loved one protects his or her eyes by wearing sunglasses when outside. 

Don’t Bring Foods That Can Spoil

When temperatures rise, bacteria flourish. Seniors may be more susceptible to bacteria than their younger counterparts, as age and health issues can damage the immune system. 

Make sure your loved one doesn’t contract any foodborne illnesses by keeping food safe. If you’re cooking food, prepare it on the day of the picnic. Use a cooler packed with ice and gel packs to keep food cold. Foods that require refrigeration include fruits and vegetables, lunchmeats, summer salads, and dairy products. 

Bring Insect Repellant

You don’t want your loved one to get bitten by insects at the picnic. While some bites may cause itchiness, others can lead to infections or worse. Apply a non-irritating insect repellant to areas of exposed skin. As an extra precaution, you can light citronella candles and place them around the picnic area. 

When planning a summer picnic, you may need to take a break from your caregiving duties to buy insect repellant and other essential items. There are a variety of reasons family caregivers should consider respite care. Roseville, CA, families often have additional responsibilities that make it more challenging to provide the care their senior loved ones need and deserve. A professional respite caregiver can take over your important caregiving duties, allowing you more time to focus on yourself.

Memorize the Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke, or hyperthermia, occurs when body temperature rises too high as a response to a hot environment. Seniors are at high risk of experiencing heat strokes, as they are less tolerant of hot, humid temperatures. Some of the symptoms of heat stroke include dizziness, nausea, confusion, headaches, and rapid pulse. If your loved one starts showing symptoms of heat stroke, he or she needs to get out of the sun and rehydrate. He or she may also need professional medical attention.

For many seniors in Roseville, CA, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. To create a customized care plan for your senior loved one, call us at 916.226.3737 today.

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