A homebound senior doesn’t have to stay in her home all summer just because she can’t get around on her own. There are plenty of safe summer activities where a home attendant /aide could take her. With a little pre-planning, on your part, you can schedule summer activities both inside and out. All you need is a calendar, a lunch and an emergency Go Bag. My friend, Carla Holub who is the Vice President/Community Liaison of Select Care Home Care Service offers these great suggestions.
Planning Summer Fun Activities
With the beautiful summer weather upon us spending time outdoors can be a wonderful activity for both an elderly parent/loved one and her home health aide. Pre-planning is the key. First plan the necessary items to keep your loved one safe and comfortable, start researching activities through local newspapers and websites and mark your calendar.
Cool places to visit:
- Senior centers have activity schedules including congregate lunches, escorted day trips
- Museums have free or minimal charges for seniors and may have wheelchairs available
- Take a stroll in the park
- Street fairs early in the morning are cooler and less crowded
- Libraries have music programs and movies
- Noon time concerts in the park.
- Watch a grandchild’s sports team/or children in a play ground
Combine outings with mealtimes.
- Portable, nutritious snacks can take the place of a meal
- Make sure medications taken at that meal is brought along
Some Suggestions for Planning Summer Fun Activities
- Use a large monthly calendar write down activities and plan them with the aide
- Consider the client’s daily habits
- Is the client more alert in the morning or afternoon?Adding a fun visit onto a medical appointment may or may not be overtiring for the client
- Adding a fun visit onto a medical appointment may or may not be overtiring for the client
Don’t Forget the Home Attendant/Aide’s Needs
- Consider the attendant’s schedule or assigned hours
- When working with an agency call and inquire about any restrictions the agency may have on traveling
- Inform the agency of scheduled activities so that the agency can make adjustments in the assignment and supervision times if necessary
- Plan activities to give the care giver enough time to prepare the client in an unrushed manner and enough time to return home and settle the client before the end of the care giver’s shift.
- It is the client’s responsibility to pay for the care giver’s meals, travel and entrance fees
- Ask for feedback from the client and caregiver about the activity and use the information to plan future events.
Prepare for a Simple Safe Summer with a Go Bag
Preparing a Go Bag offers safety, minimizes time when getting ready and keeps everyone organized. Here are some essential items to pack:
- Non-perishable snacks
- Bottles of water for both aide and client
- Sun screen
- Hat for shade
- Light sweater in the event they go into someplace air conditioned
- Extra depends or briefs
- Baby wipes
- Allergy list
- Medication list
- Emergency contact information including Doc contact numbers
- A container for medication that may be needed during the time of the outing
- Small first aid kit with antiseptic, gauze and pads in the event of a cut or scrape outside (no band aids, elderly skin is fragile and may tear easily if a band aid is placed on a cut)
- A small umbrella for rain or shade
- A pre-paid cell phone so the aide can be contacted where ever she is. (Note: Don’t ask the aide to use her personal minutes to keep in touch with you.)
- Cash or debit card for snacks, transportation, entry fees. (Giving the home attendant a debit card in lieu of cash or a credit card for every day purchases will save everyone a lot of confusing.)
Enjoy a great summer!