July is National Grilling Month. The warm weather and sunny days make July the perfect time to pull out the grill and gather the family to have a barbeque. A barbeque is a great way for family caregivers to help older family members to connect with younger family, including nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. It also gives family caregivers a chance to spend time with the senior the way they used to instead of in the role of a caregiver. Planning the perfect barbecue that lets the older adult participate and enjoy the fun can be a little tricky. Below are some tips for caregivers to plan a day that’s fun for everyone.
Make the Right Food
If your aging relative has special dietary needs, be sure to take that into consideration when planning the menu. Serve foods that are easy to eat. For example, a burger that doesn’t require utensils to eat might be easier for the senior than a piece of chicken or a steak that needs to be cut. Some older adults are embarrassed to let someone else cut their meat in front of others, so think about their dignity, too.
Find a Shady Place
Seniors should not sit out in the sun where it is hot, and they can get sunburned. Find or create a shady spot for them to sit. Set up a big beach umbrella and place a comfortable chair under it for them. However, even with shade, be sure they wear plenty of sunblock and reapply it every few hours.
Being outside in the hot July weather can lead to dehydration if the older adult doesn’t drink enough. Be sure to have plenty of cold drinks on hand. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can contribute to dehydration instead of preventing it. Provide a pitcher of ice water or some lemonade instead.
Offer Senior Friendly Activities
If you plan to have activities for guests to do, like outdoor games, include some that the senior can play, too. Croquet is a good option since it’s a game the older adult may have played in their youth that is also fun for children. Or, if the senior is in a wheelchair, try a game of ring toss, beanbag toss, or horseshoes.
Mind the Cold Foods
Because older adults sometimes have weaker immune systems that younger people, they can be more susceptible to food poisoning. Make sure the cold foods you serve don’t sit out in the heat for too long as they could spoil and cause illness.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Wall, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.
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