Enjoying Summer Events with Seniors

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posted by Ted Ryan on June 28, 2016

The Fourth of July is a popular holiday to spend with friends and family enjoying barbecue, parades and fireworks. Celebrations with senior loved ones may require a little extra planning due to frail conditions or memory issues. These guidelines can help everyone enjoy the Fourth of July and other gatherings this summer.

  • Incorporate tradition. Reminisce about fond memories and include aspects of past traditions in current celebrations. Engaging a senior’s senses with favorite foods or familiar music may stimulate memories and fond feelings.
  • Modify events to accommodate the needs and preferences of seniors. Consider elderly guests when planning events. Some may love experiencing the crowds and excitement, while others prefer the quiet comfort of home.
  • Prepare guests. If guests have not had recent or regular contact with an elderly loved one, you may want to prepare them for what to expect.
  • Stress safety. Seniors are at increased risk for dehydration and overheating. Encourage sunscreen and light-colored, loose-fitting clothes. Sit in the shade whenever possible. Know the signs of dehydration and encourage seniors to drink lots of fluids. Keep a close eye on elderly loved ones with memory issues, especially in crowds, where it’s easy to wander and get lost.
  • Be flexible. Some ideas might work and others won’t. Get feedback from your senior loved ones and be willing to go with the flow. Live in the moment and remember that the goal is to have an enjoyable stress-free time, even if that means straying from original plans.

While gatherings may not be what they once were, adapting summer traditions and activities can create pleasant new experiences for the whole family.

In recent years, I’ve watched fireworks from my grandparents’ apartment balcony at their Independent Living Facility. As it turns out, I prefer it to the days of crowded parks – the snacks are free, the bathroom’s clean and there’s never a line.

As you spend time with elderly loved ones, you may notice changes in their condition. Declines in mobility, weight or cognition might suggest that it’s time to consider assistance. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation assessment, in which an SHC nurse will provide their professional advice. 

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