As the weather warms up, you're likely looking for ways to enjoy the outdoors!
Scott Silknitter from R.O.S Therapy Systems joined the Good Morning Show with ways you can prep your elderly loved ones for family outings.
Silknitter says getting out of the house is something most of us crave, especially full time family caregivers. He shares some tips to help reduce stress and mishaps. Planning and Preparation must always be the rule of the day no matter how simple or routine something seems because the first time you do not plan as a caregiver, something usually happens.
Silknitter says the first step people should take:
1. Before you get in the car to go anywhere, clean the clutter from your car before you let your loved one in. We have all heard of the "new car smell", well caregivers need to make sure the area their loved one will be sitting in is "new car clean." Remove any opportunity for a loved one to grab things they shouldn't.
2. Have a just in case bag with all of the items you need such as Personal Care and an extra set of clothes.
3. Bottled Water and snacks – we need to stay hydrated and not be hungry.
4. Sunglasses for sensitive eyes and sunscreen.
5. Medications you need - also be aware of medication side effects, such as susceptibility to the sun.
Keep that checklist and review it every time you go out. Also make it available to any other caregiver who may help with your loved one. Simple things can make a big difference!
Silknitter also touches on travel planning.
The summer travel season is right around the corner. As you make your plans -- don't forget your elderly loved ones.
Scott Silknitter discusses focusing on planning and packing to travel by car to visit family or friends out of state. This can be very rewarding and the key words for success are plan, plan, and plan some more.
When planning a trip that includes an elderly loved one, the first thing we need to do is talk to our doctor to make sure the trip is realistic and appropriate. Also, be sure prescriptions are called in so additional medicine can be picked up before you leave.
Once that is taken care of you can prepare to pack, start with the idea that your family wants you to come, wants you to be comfortable and wants to help.
Once you accept that, you can look at every room you will be in at their home and bring the tools your loved one needs:
Living Room – have your loved ones roller ready if they need it.
Bedroom – Bring their pillow, wedge cushion and bed liner if they need it.
Kitchen – Bring adaptive utensils and plates if needed.
Bathroom – Bring portable grab bars, raised toilet seats and shower chairs if needed.
It's ok to bring these things – they are what your loved one uses everyday and they will need them no matter where you are.
One last note for packing suitcases, clothes and personal items: Pack Two Bags – One for the visit and one for easy access during the car ride just in case
A little extra packing and planning can go a long way to helping you enjoy your trip.
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