5 top tips for a day out with elderly relatives — AD

How to plan a day out with elderly relatives
Now that the weather is warming up and some of the recent restrictions have been lifted you might be thinking about planning a day out as a family, so here are my 5 top tips for a day out with elderly relatives.

Consider the terrain

What might feel like an easy place for us to walk around can be much harder for those who are little less steady on their feet and who need to watch where they put every foot step.   What we think of as an easy pavement to walk along for hours on a fun shopping trip can swiftly become hard work when you are worried about turning an ankle with each step.   The same is true for walks on paths and tracks, or down to beaches and it should be remembered that it can be very tiring so elderly relatives might not be able to walk as far as you might expect

Think about a powered wheelchair

Maybe you could look into  powered wheelchairs from Fenetic Wellbeing to see if that might be something that would help.  Not only does it make a difference on days out as a family but it can also offer some independence for those time our relatives want to pop out on their own, since they are electric they are really easy to use.  I remember my granny getting very frustrated about the fact she couldn’t pop out for a pint of milk without waiting for once of us to help her (or deliver it).   There would be have been no stopping her shopping trips if she had her own transport at her disposal!

Let your relatives be involved in the choice of venue

One of the things my granny would often joke about was that sometimes she felt like a dog on a lead when we would take her out for the day.  Following us and feeling that the day out was all about us and less about her.    After she had said it a few times we made sure we involved her in choosing where we might go, maybe narrowing it down to one or two National Trust properties and letting her pick the final spot made her feel she was a part of the decision making.

Spark a conversation

This is especially important with elderly relatives that may have dementia.   It is amazing what being in an environment that reminds our relatives of days gone by can do.  Hughenden for instance was home to a secret map making operation during World War 2, a secret that was only revealed following a chance encounter 60 years later.   There are lots of exhibits and momentous that tell the story of Hillside (as it was known) and for anybody who lived through the war this could be a wonderful opportunity to discuss a relatives memories of that time (don’t forget to write anything down that you would like to remember, investigate more.  Or better still record it on your phone as there is something about hearing voices tell stories first hand).d

Pick a place that has facilities

Even the fittest of us like to stop for a cup of tea and a flapjack every now and again so always check out if there is a cafe where you can grab a piece of cake.   Staying hydrated is even more important the older we get as becoming dehydrated can lead to stumbling or falls so it is important that a day out includes cups of tea (or a gin and tonic at the end!).   All of which means you will need to ensure there are other facilities that are easily accessible too.

 

And of course, don’t forget to take your camera to make sure you get photos to remember the day

Image of person in a wheelchair courtesy of Shutterstock

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