Home Health Aide
As the summer months take hold, it’s only natural that there will be a resurgence of barbecues. Nothing says school’s out like a healthy amount of hot dogs on the grill!
Yet, for many seniors, these barbecues can be somewhat exclusionary to elderly needs and diets. Luckily, this exclusion can be changed with a few small amendments. If you want your aging loved one to feel included in your next barbecue here are a few tips to host a senior-friendly barbecue!
Be Generous With Seats
Although a barbecue might have the laid-back attitude of sitting on the floor or standing at the grill, this is not conducive to senior needs. Standing for too long can cause seniors to feel tired or lightheaded; they can also suffer from decreased blood flow.
To curb this, make sure to provide some comfortable seats at your barbecue. This can be an outdoor couch, bench, or lawn chair. Your goal is to have something comfortable and sturdy that your senior can enjoy.
Embrace the Shade
We may want to soak up the sun, but long-term sun exposure is not conducive to elderly health. The direct heat can cause disorientation and lead to heat-stress illnesses.
Thus, it’s important to provide a shaded spot for your loved one. This could be a nearby awning, large tree, or tent. It should be a shaded area with seating arrangements so your loved one doesn’t have to bear the brunt of the elements!
One of the key components of a successful barbecue is a well-hydrated one! Have a plethora of cool and refreshing drinks that will keep your aging loved one well hydrated through the day. This shouldn’t be diuretics like caffeinated tea, beer, or syrupy soda. The goal is to have something that will provide electrolytes and liquid on a hot day.
Have an Exit Plan
For some seniors, a successful barbecue is based on knowing when to leave. If your loved one is living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, a barbecue can easily become overwhelming. A crowd of people, ample conversation, and hustling activity can be overstimulating and cause agitation. Thus, it’s good for you or an accompanying home health aide, to be there to help escort your loved one away. Take stock of the mood of your loved one and be prepared to make a gentle exit should the time arise!