How to Help Your Senior Enjoy a Family Affair


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George Burns once said, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”

But whether your family lives near or far, chances are, every once in a while you probably plan a family reunion or big family party where all the generations come together, reminisce about old times and make new memories.

This can be a particularly special time for seniors, who are eager to catch up with loved ones that they haven’t seen in a while. But, as with every party or event, it is important to keep in mind a few things to ensure your senior will be safe and comfortable while they are enjoying the festivities.

Accessibility: If you are planning your family party at an outdoor venue, such as a park or lake, make sure that it is accessible for your senior. If you are worried that your senior will have to walk a long distance, consider renting a wheel chair or a golf cart or asking the facility management if you can drive a small vehicle to the party site to assist a guest with mobility issues. Also, check ahead of time to ensure there are nearby, well-lit and accessible restrooms.

Weather: Seniors have a much harder time with heat than younger people, so it is smart to have an air-conditioned indoor space, or even an air-conditioned car, to which they can retreat in the heat. It is a good idea to encourage them to dress in light, loose layers, wear plenty of sunblock and a sun hat with a wide-brim, and drink lots of water.

Food: Summer party food is the best food but the high fat, cholesterol and salt that come along with things like fried chicken, barbecue and chips can make the picnic table a landmine for seniors on a restricted diet. Try to include fresh fruits and veggies when you’re menu planning and consider offering a healthy alternative to the main course, such as grilled chicken or fish, or veggie dogs.

Crowds: Even though most seniors are thrilled to see the whole family all together, large crowds can be a bit overwhelming, especially when seniors aren’t used to them, have hearing issues, or are easily confused. Try to find a place a bit off to the side where your senior can settle and let people come to them in groups of one or two. This way, they’ll have a chance to spend some one-on-one time with everyone while staying out of the fray.

For more information about the care and well-being of seniors, please contact Home Instead at 480-827-4343 or on Facebook.

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