Summer is the time when everyone gathers together outdoors to enjoy beautiful weather and delicious food. And those summer gatherings should include your senior loved ones so that they can spend time with family and friends. Companion home care can help seniors stay socially connected most of the time but there’s no substitute for spending time with loved ones.
However, you should remember that seniors have special needs, especially when dining and spending time outdoors. There are lots of things that families can do to make sure that their senior parents have a good time and are safe at any summer outdoor gatherings like:
Make Sure Walkways Are Safe
Seniors who have balance problems, use a walker, or have other mobility challenges may not be able to easily negotiate gravel paths, mulch paths, or stepping stone paths. Make sure that any walkways to the backyard or wherever the party is being held are clear of obstructions and easy for seniors to use. If necessary have someone help them or provide an alternative way to the backyard like through the house. Also, make sure that the floors in the house don’t contain slippery area rugs or have anything that seniors could trip on near the bathroom.
Make Sure There Is Shade
Seniors may enjoy the sun for a while but there should be lots of cool shade available for them to sit in. If your backyard has no trees or natural shade a patio table with an umbrella, a covered pergola, or a backyard tent are good options for making sure that seniors and others have access to shade. If your senior loved one has companion care at home they may have a companion come with them who can keep them entertained in the shade if necessary.
Have Senior Friendly Dishware And Glassware
Most backyard and summer get-togethers have plastic cups, paper plates, and disposable cutlery for guests so that the hosts don’t have dishes to clean up. That makes sense, but those items can be difficult for seniors to grip and hold. Plastic cutlery in particular can be useless and painful for seniors to try and hold. Make sure that you have easy-grip large-size cutlery, plate holders for paper plates, and large easy-grip plastic cups for seniors. With a little planning, you can make it so that your senior loved one can eat their meal safely and easily without any embarrassment or help.
Offer Soft Food Options
Another important element of making a backyard get-togethers senior-friendly is making sure there are some senior-friendly soft food options. Pasta salad, chicken salad, kebobs, and pulled meats like pulled pork are all easy-to-eat options that seniors might enjoy. Make sure there are some soft desserts on the menu too. Ice cream, strawberry shortcake, fruit cups filled with berries and watermelon cubes, and other options will ensure that seniors can enjoy some of the wonderful summer treats associated with barbecues and picnics too.