Home is where the heart is – but going outside and enjoying the sun, warm weather and different surroundings is one of the best ways for seniors to socialize, energize and stave off feelings of isolation and depression, especially after experiencing this past year’s lockdown. Whether it’s simply enjoying a backyard BBQ at a loved one’s home, taking a walk in a park, going shopping or taking in some evening entertainment, there are so many enjoyable opportunities for seniors outside the home.
However, keeping seniors safe when they’re outdoors or traveling outside their homes is a major concern. Family, friends and caregivers want to ensure that senior family members can safely go outside and enjoy themselves without the risk of injuries or emergencies.
While it’s impossible to prevent every emergency, careful planning and preventive processes help protect seniors when they’re outdoors. Below are some helpful elderly care tips for keeping seniors safe when they’re outside of their homes.
Falling is one of the most common safety concerns for seniors when they’re not at home. Fortunately, many of these slips and falls can be prevented or minimized by wearing the right footwear.
Seniors should be wearing shoes that fit well and are comfortable without being loose. These shoes should also have a good tread and a slip-resistant sole to provide better traction on a variety of surfaces. Once a month, shoes should be inspected to make sure that they still fit well and have plenty of tread left on the sole. As soon as the shoes start to show signs of increasing wear, they should be replaced with a new pair.
Porch and Deck Safety
Enjoying the outdoors doesn’t always involve travelling miles away from home. Sometimes the best outdoor opportunities are found on the front porch or in the backyard. Although unwinding on the porch with a good book or cooking out on the backyard deck are fun, these areas can be full of hazards for seniors.
Although throw rugs add a decorative touch to porches and decks, they can add an extra element of concern for seniors who already have to navigate these tricky terrains. Rugs slide more easily on porch and deck surfaces, it’s best to avoid using them especially in households where seniors live or visit frequently.
Porches and decks also typically feature elevated entryways that pose a tripping hazard for seniors especially those with mobility issues. The use of portable ramps at these entryways helps keep seniors safe by making these doorways more accessible for them.
Taking a trip to the local supermarket or retailer for groceries, essentials or just a bit of shopping fun is a nice way for seniors to socialize with their community. Yet, trying to handle multiple shopping bags of groceries or items may lead to injury.
If you’re unable to accompany a senior on their shopping trips, emphasize their need to use traditional or seated mobility shopping carts to help them manage their bags. And although they may be resistant to the idea, compassionately communicate with them that it is ok to ask a store member for assistance. These retailers want their customers to be happy and safe so they’ll be glad to help.
Whether seniors are driving a great distance from home or just visiting a local destination, emergencies can happen anywhere at any time. From flat tires and car breakdowns to accidents and health emergencies, seniors will benefit from having an emergency kit inside their car for any major or minor issues.
An emergency kit should be small enough to fit in a car but large enough to accommodate the following essentials: foldable emergency blanket, rain poncho, an umbrella, sunscreen, a hat, gloves, flashlight and extra batteries, bottled water, a first aid kit, and copies of their insurance cards and a list of current medications (which seniors should also carry in their purses or wallets when away from home).
By following these helpful elderly care steps, you’ll help keep your senior family member more safe whenever they leave their homes. If you’re looking for home care solutions for your senior family members, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!