Enjoying the 4th of July with Your Elderly Loved Ones

Independence Day is the largest summer celebration for people across the country. For one day, everyone gathers to celebrate the freedom of our nation with great food, games, and fireworks shows. However, if you’re enjoying the 4th of July with your elderly loved ones, the holiday may look a little different.

Your loved one may need certain accommodations to enjoy the holiday to its fullest. Whether it’s a large family celebration or just the two of you spending the day together, it’s important you are prepared.

Enjoying the 4th of July with Your Elderly Loved Ones

For larger, outdoor events

It doesn’t matter if you live in the center of a large city or in a more rural location—most places in the United States will host some sort of outdoor celebration. If you and your loved one are interested in attending one of these events, it’s important you do some research ahead of time. Will your elderly loved one have easy access to shade if they need to escape the heat? What about restrooms? Is there ample seating, or will you have to bring your own?

If access is limited to these features, secure a spot nearby a rec center or the restrooms. Arrive early so you are able to choose a spot that best fits your loved one’s needs without having to fight crowds. You should also consider leaving early, as getting out of the event may be quite hectic if you leave right when it ends.

Tips for any outdoor event

Whether you’re attending a community event or spending the afternoon at a family member’s barbeque, there are certain items you’ll want to bring along. These include:

  • Portable and/or cushioned seating. It’s uncomfortable for many older adults to stay standing for too long. Bring a collapsible chair so your loved one is able to sit whenever they need to. If you’re attending a backyard BBQ, bring a cushion, as wooden benches can be uncomfortable.
  • Bottled water. The sun can be quite unrelenting in the summer. Dehydration can lead to serious complications for seniors, so make sure water is always at the ready. A cooler of bottled water will give both of you peace of mind.
  • Sunscreen. Your loved one will burn if they don’t use sunscreen. Before you step outside, have them apply sunscreen with high SPF. Don’t forget to reapply after a few hours.
  • A sun umbrella. The direct sun can be quite intense. So, consider bringing a sun umbrella to create a shady spot for your loved one to relax in as necessary.
  • A portable handheld fan. In addition to remaining in the shade, these small battery-operated devices make a world of difference in keeping seniors cool and comfortable
  • Medications. Certain medications need to be taken at specific times of the day. If your senior loved one has a schedule-dependent medication, ensure you have it on hand.

Enjoying the 4th of July at home

If you’re celebrating the 4th of July in the comfort of your home, or your loved one’s home, get them involved in the planning process. Decorating for the holiday is a great way to engage seniors mentally, physically, and socially. Your loved one works the creative and problem-solving side of their brain while also utilizing their fine motor skills.

The two of you can spend days leading up to the celebration crafting your own red, white, and blue décor and putting it up together. Then, on the day or morning before the celebration, you can enlist their help to prepare dishes. Dishes such as potato salad, hot dogs, and ice cream, are classic, but don’t forget healthier options too. Fruit slices, meatless burgers, and sugar-free Jell-O are great alternatives.

If your loved one would prefer a relaxed day, you can still have fun together. Try these 4th of July activities:

  • Trivia about the United States
  • A patriotic movie marathon
  • Tie-dye clothing
  • Fireworks on television

Make life easier with an at-home caregiver

Acting as the sole provider of care for your elderly loved one is a daunting task. If you find yourself overwhelmed by all the work that comes with being a family caregiver, consider hiring the help of a home care agency.

Home Care Powered by AUAF has supported seniors in the greater Chicago area for 30 years, and we would love to extend that support to you and your loved one. For more information give us a call at 773-274-9262.

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