Planning outings with your aging parent is a fantastic way to encourage them to enjoy a more active, engaged, and fulfilling lifestyle. Getting out of the house for activities stimulates their mind and gives them more physical activity while creating memories that both of you will cherish well into the future. As with anything else in your caregiver journey, it is important that you plan these outings with your parent’s health and safety in mind. One of the most valuable considerations when pursuing this goal is to help them prevent falls.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries among older adults, and result in millions of serious injuries each year. For many elderly adults, a fall starts a string of events that leads to diminished health and quality of life. Protecting your parent from these falls can help them to stay safer, healthier, and more fulfilled as they age in place.
Use these tips to help you prevent falls when enjoying outings with your elder:
• Know the area first. If possible, visit the destination on your own before you bring your aging parent. This will allow you to explore the area and identify any potentially challenges that you will need to address when your parent is there. If you are not able to visit, go on their website or call the destination and discuss your parent’s limitations so that they can help you to determine what may need to be done when you come.
• Consider mobility aids. Even if your parent does not usually use a mobility aid such as a walker or wheelchair, consider bringing one of these along or renting one when you arrive. This will provide additional support and confidence for your senior, and help them to manage terrains or length of walking that they are not accustomed to.
• Take your time. Be sure to plan plenty of time for your visit. Taking your time during your outing will reduce the chances that your parent will rush, potentially tripping, slipping, or exhausting themselves and compromising their gait. Plan for times to sit and rest, and for a slower pace than you might maintain if your parent was not with you.
If you feel that your parent’s needs or challenges are too much for you to handle their care successfully, or you feel that they would simply benefit from additional support and assistance, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them. As a family caregiver, knowing that your aging parent has the highly personalized services of an in-home elder care provider can give you peace of mind and reassure you that they will get everything that they need both when you are with them and when you are not.
This elder care provider’s services can fill care gaps that exist in your routine and offer your parent additional benefits such as reliable transportation, dedicated companionship, and professional care to help them manage their individual challenges and limitations.
Planning outings with your senior, or going on outings with your family, allows this elder care provider to support a more active lifestyle while ensuring that your parent stays safe and healthy, enabling them to participate more fully in activities and for your family to enjoy the experience as much as possible. This can reduce your stress and ensure that you are able to focus on other obligations in your life as well.