If you are caring for the elderly in any capacity then you will understand the importance of getting out of the same four walls for a time. It is important for your mental sanity because sitting in the same place for a few hours can send you stir crazy! Well, just put yourself in the shoes of the senior that you are caring for. The same four walls may well be the only environment they see for days on end. This would not be helping their mental health at all and thus it is important that they too get out once in while. With a little planning, outings can be a fun and welcome distraction from their mundane lives as well as helping their progress if they are in recovery from an illness.
If you do plan on taking the senior in your care on an outing then you must be well prepared before the actual day comes. There can be very little spontaneous about going on an outing because of the amount of bases that you must consider before you take him or her out. You must firstly have vetted the activity to make sure that it is suitable for the individual in you care. For example, it is no use taking an individual in a wheelchair swimming unless the local pool has special disabled facilities because the last thing that your elderly charge would want to do is sit and watch you have fun whilst they are bored!
Taking walks in the park or around the local area, shopping and day trips are excellent outings to take seniors in your care on. All of them give the senior a sense of freedom, which is something that their deteriorating state has probably already stripped them of. In this way, they promote a sense of contentment and comfort as well as soothing boredom. However, you must make sure that wherever you are planning to go can accommodate the seniors in you are. Do they have wheelchair access? Can you park easily? How accessible are the toilets? All of these questions and many more have to be answered before you arrange anything.
Before leaving the house, you must make sure that you are prepared for any eventuality. All medications should be taken with you just in case you are still out when they are supposed to be administered. You should also have something to eat in your bag and the senior in your care should be wearing appropriate clothing. After you have finished going through all of the checklists, it is likely that you will be shattered and want to stay in!
When you do get out on your trip, you will not have a moment’s peace. It may be relaxing for the senior in your care, but it will not be the same for you. You constantly have to watch for hazards and anticipate any problems before they actually occur. Having said that, your reward will come from actually seeing the pleasure on the face of the person you care for. There is no better feeling in the world than seeing someone you care for smile when they actually have little to smile about.
Outings really do make a nice change for the elderly people that you are caring for and should be integrated into your routine on a regular basis. The feelings that outings provoke are generally all positive, which ultimately will help you get through the preparations. Everyone needs to get out once in a while and seniors are no different so take the opportunity for them!
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