Planning in advance and understanding the limitations of some seniors needs to be considered when organizing activities. Even if you are organizing a backyard picnic, a short trip to the beach, a visit to a local museum, or even a dinner at a nearby restaurant, you should always plan ahead for a more gratifying and pleasant experience.

- Let your patients know about the planned activity, and encourage them to get organized for the outing, whenever possible. The opportunity to do so gives the patient personal ownership.

- Always take a list of patient medications with you, in addition to the patient's physician contact numbers. You never know when you may have to suddenly access this information.

Outdoor Activities

- Limit outdoor activities to the early morning hours or before sunset during warmer months. Always take some extra water with you, so you will not be tempted into using the public water fountains.

- If the weather is mildly warm, and your patient is not at risk for elopement, and you have received all the necessary approvals for a short trip to the beach, make sure to prep your car in advance.

- Make plans for an extra bathroom stop along the short road trip. Identify the safest places to make that stop.

- When planning your short beach outing, schedule your trip to coincide with low ocean tides. Also, check the weather 48 to 24 hours before your trip. Bring hats, sunglasses, and wear appropriate shoes. Don't forget the sunblock.

- Once you arrive at the beach make sure to park near a lifeguard, or lifeguard station. Even if your patient is not an elopement risk, never leave the patient out of your sight! Make sure your beach trip is short and sweet. Do not exert yourself or your patient.

-  Fruits, such as strawberries, apples, watermelon, and blueberries contain water and provide refreshing snacks that you can easily pack in a small cooler for a short beach trip, for a quick snack, or even for a home picnic.

- Encourage fluid intake, regardless of the level of activity. If patient is on water pills, you must seek advice from the patient's physician and nurses regarding how much fluids and water your patient can have.

Restaurant Visits

- If going to a restaurant, choose one that is relatively quiet, and not too noisy. Make sure your table is in an area of the restaurant that does not have a lot of employee and client traffic.

- Before going to the restaurant consider your patient’s food intake needs, and allergies.

- Check bathroom access.

Museum Visits

- When planning a trip to a museum, consider the time and the relevance of the artwork to your patient.

- If the patient has Alzheimer’s, some museums are already organizing specialized events geared specifically to this group. Locally, the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) has specific programs for the visually impaired and for those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Call OMA in advance for the appropriate times and dates. Please call 407 896 4231 extension 262 to register.  Orlando Museum of Art address is 2416 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32803-1483.  Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 4pm, and Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 4pm

Being prepared makes for a fruitful and rewarding activity!

Senior Helpers Orlando Team


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