The summer months are the ideal time for family reunions and many elderly people love to visit with distant relatives to remember old times and catch up on what’s happening today. Taking an elderly loved one to a family reunion can pose a unique set of challenges to a family caregiver. However, with a little planning, they can ensure their aging loved one will be comfortable, safe and satisfied with the trip.
Family reunions can be held in exotic destinations but most are generally in a central venue large enough to hold multiple generations. Pavilions in the park, a rented community center or similar setups are most common. Family caregivers can find out as much as possible about the venue to make sure they are prepared to help their aging loved one. For example, if the venue is outside, there should be shady places for seniors to sit.
Elderly loved ones may need a few extra things to ensure they are comfortable at a long family reunion event. Because seating may be limited to folding chairs or picnic tables, it’s a good idea to bring along a sturdy canvas chair for them. Other comfort items might include a small pillow for a sore back, water bottle, foot rest, hand-held fan or padded seat cushion.
Provide your aging loved one with a few things to preserve the memories he or she will be making at the reunion. Have a notebook and pen close by to record contact information if desired. It’s always a good idea to give them a little camera to snap some photos if they don’t have a smart phone. A photo album can start a lot of good conversations between the elderly and the younger generation as well.
Even if the reunion is being held on an overcast day, make sure your elderly loved one has sunscreen and a hat to protect them from sunburn. If possible, put their seat in the shade. An umbrella or portable shade canopy is a must if there won’t be any shade at the reunion. If the venue is indoors, then even sitting on a sunny porch or near an open window can trigger sunburn in the elderly.
Food and Drink
Seniors may need to eat at different times than the main group, especially if they are dealing with conditions like diabetes. Sometimes, the elderly like to eat a little throughout the day rather than three big meals. Make sure that there are several healthy snacks for seniors to munch on if they need it and it is still several hours away from a family meal.
Rest and Relaxation
The elderly may not be able to keep up with all the activities that are planned for the family reunion, so family caregivers should ensure that their loved one gets plenty of rest at the times they are used to. Early mornings and late nights may not fit well with a senior’s regular sleeping patterns. Also, seniors may need to be taken back to the hotel or a family member’s home in the middle of the day for a regularly scheduled nap. When seniors get enough rest, they are more likely to enjoy themselves at the reunion.
Family caregivers can help their elderly loved one enjoy the annual family get-together by planning ahead and anticipating what their unique needs might be.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in San Ramon, CA, contact the caring staff at Provident Home Care. Call today (877) 572-3411.
Robin Conley RN., Owner and CEO of Provident Care Home Care Providing HOME CARE- ASSISTED LIVING PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE
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