Hiking is a wonderful way to get out into the fresh air with your aging parent and spend quality time together. These hikes give you the opportunity to make memories you will carry with you for years to come, as well as changing up your physical activity routine. When heading out for a hike, it is extremely important for you to not forget your caregiver responsibilities, and take proper steps to stay safe and healthy. This starts with making sure you are properly equipped. Packing your trail bag with things you need to handle situations you might face will not only help you all day as it’s safer and healthier throughout the hike, but can make you feel more confident and willing to participate more in the activity.
Some things you should pack in your bag when hiking with your elderly loved one include:
- A mobile device just to keep you connected with others who have not gone on the hike with you. This provides a safety net if you get lost or encounter some sort of emergency
- Plenty of potable water. Staying properly hydrated is a critical part of health at all times, but can be more difficult during the summer months. Heat, humidity, and physical activity all increase the body’s need for fluids. Make sure you talk to your seniors doctor ahead of the hike so that you are aware of any fluid restrictions they might have
- Non-perishable, high nutrition foods. You want to make sure that both of you have the food you need to give you energy for your hike. Look for foods that don’t require any preparation, and that are non-perishable and packed with nutrients such as protein, healthy fats, and healthy carbs
- A first aid kit equipped with basic supplies to handle mild injuries or illnesses during the hike. At its simplest, this first aid kit should include a means for cleaning mild cuts or scrapes, alcohol pads to kill germs, adhesive bandages, tweezers, and over the counter medications to handle illnesses such as headaches, mild strains or sore muscles, allergies, and simple stomach ailments
- Sun protection products, including sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor of 15, but preferably 30. Sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes prior to you being exposed to the sun, and should be reapplied at least every 2 hours, and even more frequently if your parent is swimming, toweling off, or sweating. You should also consider bringing along a cooling gel that can ease discomfort after overexposure to the sun
- A printed map of the area so you can see where you are even if you are a mobile device stops working
- Bug repellent to help prevent bites and stings from tiny wildlife such as mosquitoes, ticks, and flies
- A camera to capture your memories so you can reminisce about them together. This extends the mental stimulation, and gives you something to look back on years down the line
Home care can be a valuable addition to your care routine with your senior during the summer months.
Elderly adults face many risks and potential dangers during these months, and having a care provider with them can reduce these risks and protect your senior from harm. This can include visiting them to make sure they are staying cool to avoid heat-related illnesses and injuries, encouraging proper hydration and nutrition, helping them practice skin sun safety, and encouraging them to find ways to stay active while avoiding overexposure to heat or sun. These benefits can also come into play when you are out with your parent enjoying an adventure. This can ensure your senior has what they need even when they are away from home, and that you can focus on your activity, your children, and other needs.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregivers in Moorestown, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.
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