Outdoor Safety Tips if You Care for An Aged Relative
Caring for aged relatives has its challenges and none more so than when helping a senior person get around outside. Harsh weather conditions, uneven sidewalks, and traffic all present risks to a person who is older in years. There are also specific health issues to think about if you care for a person who has limited mobility and uses a wheelchair or walking stick.
Most aged persons want to keep as much independence as possible and getting outside is one way to do this. If you have to care for an aged relative with limited mobility, what can you do to keep them safe?
Here are 3 outdoor safety tips if you care for an aged relative.
Keep walkways safe and clean
First, it’s important to make sure that all walkways around the house are kept clean and free of debris. You should ensure that there are no uneven paving stones that could cause an older person to trip or slip. You should also clean leaves from walkways in the fall to prevent sliding on fallen leaves. Also, during winter, it’s important that steps leading to the house and paths are free of ice and snow.
Be aware of body temperature
Older people are more sensitive to the heat and cold than younger people and they may be affected easier by changes to air temperature.
During the colder months, it’s important to make sure that older people are well wrapped up. According to the National Institute on Aging, a big chill can turn into serious health problems before they realize what is happening. So, make sure that, if you have to go out in cold weather, the aged relative that you care for has plenty of loose layers of clothing on. A hat and scarf are also essential.
It’s also important to be aware of how the heat can quickly affect older people if they are out in the summertime. An elderly person with mobility problems may have difficulty getting to the shade. They are also at greater risk of chronic dehydration in hot weather.
Have fun but play safe
Being outside with the family is a great way for an aged relative to enjoy themselves. However, ensure that any kind of recreational activities doesn’t pose a safety threat to a senior person. Be careful playing ball games and keep seniors safe from baseballs, soccer balls, or tennis balls that could injure them. Also, keep toys, ropes, and hoses away from walkways where they could trip on them.