When you think about the summer months, you likely think about the outdoor activities and adventures you can enjoy with your family. What you might not immediately think about is how dangerous it can be for your aging parent to get stuck outside. Unfortunately, this is a very real possibility. Whether your senior is dealing with cognitive functioning decline and experiencing wandering tendencies, has accidentally locked themselves out after stepping outside, or something else has caused them to not be able to get into their home, the weather of the summer months can quickly put your parent at risk. Ensuring there are certain items kept outside their home can keep your parents safe, and make you feel more confident when you are not able to be with them.
Some items you should keep outside to help keep your parent safe this summer, whether they are locked out of their home, or are simply enjoying recreation with your family include:
- An extra key. Consider hiding an extra key somewhere near your parents home so that if they get locked out, they can readily access this key and get back inside. Do not place this key somewhere that would be immediately obvious, such as under a fake rock, under a welcome mat, or on top of the door frame. Instead, consider a more hidden space, or somewhere that would not be easily guessed by someone who didn’t know where it was. Taping the key inside a pot with a flower growing in it, wrapping the key in aluminum foil and burying it, or keeping it inside a shed or other area are good choices.
- If your parent is stuck outside for even a short time, it is likely they will become thirsty and overheated without access to water. Make sure they can easily access the hose and faucet, if possible. Also consider storing heat safe water bottles in a chest or other storage container your parent could access if needed.
- Cooling supplies. Consider investing in a storage chest that can double as a seating unit for your parents porch or deck. This gives you the opportunity to store many objects inside that are easily accessible if your senior is outside. One thing to keep in this storage chest is emergency cooling supplies. Instant cooling packs that your parent simply squeezes and shakes, or cooling scarfs your parent can soak with water to cool their body down can protect them from the extreme heat.
There’s a common misconception that home care is only for those who are extremely elderly, or who have an extensive list of challenges and limitations to handle on a daily basis. This is not the case. Instead, whether your parent is dealing with a number of problems, or they could benefit from only a few hours of care and support each week, having an in-home senior care services provider as an element of their regular care routine can offer your parent a range of tremendous benefits. This type of care offers greater mental stimulation, activity, and physical assistance and support for your parent on a regular basis. Not only is this very useful for your parents, but it can be equally as useful and meaningful for you as their family caregiver. This gives you the opportunity to take more time to yourself, focus on other elements of your life, and still know your parent is getting everything they need.