Summer comes as a mixed blessing to those in their advancing years. It is great to get respite from the cold, not spend as much on heating and see nature come out in all it’s glory. But it is also a lonely time and there is an increased risk of dehydration and related conditions. However, like all of us, older people want to enjoy their summer. It is a time when we should all try and get out, get some fresh air and enjoy the sunshine (hopefully there will be some sunshine!). As with Christmas, you should see the summer holiday as an opportunity to get the whole family together as it is more likely that people have the time to do so. Here are a few other ways you can make the most of the summer for you and your elderly relative.
Great Days Out
After the isolating effect of the icy paths and bitterly cold temperatures of winter, you should make it a priority to get your elderly relatives out into the great outdoors. If they are suffering from mobility issues this may be less straight forward but thankfully more and more destinations are becoming increasingly accessible and disability friendly. Garden centres often make great days out as they have accessible cafés and perhaps lots of products which may be of interest to your relative.
Retirement facilities such as those ran by Extra Care offer many great activities in the summer months. There is gardening, tai chi and woodwork on offer to residents. Lots of community centres run similar programmes of activities. Enquire as to whether your elderly loved one would want to get involved.
Spring (or Summer) Cleaning
This may not be the most fun of activities but you may want to use the extra time you have in the summer to clean out some of the nooks and crannies of your relative’s house. Just having you around and helping with such an activity may lift their spirits and you can also use the opportunities to make the house as accessible as possible. Many use the warm summer months as a time to make alterations to homes such as the installation of a wet room or grab bars.
Keep Cool and Well Hydrated
Dehydration is a real danger to the elderly in the summer months. Whatever you do make sure you all drink plenty of water. Also, if you are spending a lot of time outdoors, keep the sun tan lotion topped and wear a hat.
Coach holidays are popular amongst all generations these days but elderly people are especially drawn to them as they involve minimum hassle and they often visit OAP-friendly locations.
As mentioned in the intro, you should treat the summer similarly to how you do Christmas, if you have the time off try and get the whole family together — maybe have a barbeque or rent out a cottage in the country. The older generations often love a family get-together.