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Summertime for Caregivers and the Elderly
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The heat is on! It’s summertime again and there’s no better way to make up with gloomy winter days than to enjoy every bit of summer days before the autumn wind blows. As for caregivers looking after the elderly, there are tons of ways on how to enjoy summer and at the same time, observe precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses and other health problems during the peak of the summer heat. Though senior citizens are often advised to stay indoors during hot weather, there are still a lot of activities that can be done without exposing your elderly patients under the heat of the summer sun. So, how can you and your savta/saba stay active while keeping cool? Here are some relevant tips for keeping your elderly patient engage in physical and mental activities during summertime: 1. Picnic Outdoors - pack some light snacks and bring your savta/saba to the park at around 3:30-5:00 in the afternoon. They can enjoy watching children running around and at the same time, you can insert about 30 minutes of walking in their physical activity if they are still capable. It is also a great time for them to be with their fellow elderly and have some chit-chat. Don’t forget to bring lots of water. 2. Appreciate Art - Plan out a schedule to local museums and other cultural events in your area. You can ask your employer or their children to buy some tickets of musical concerts, art exhibits or theatre plays. 3. Stroll Around - Stroll around the mall where it’s air-conditioned and do a little shopping. Bring your employer to a bookstore where she could buy a book to read if she is still capable. You can also stroll around the park and feed the pigeons. 4. Learn Something - Encourage your employer to enrol herself in some summer classes like arts, languages, swimming lessons, aerobics or computer classes. It is usually offered in local recreation or senior centers in your area. 5. Cook The Heat Away - when it’s too hot outside, you can stay indoor with your employer and try a new recipe. You can ask her to share to you her all-time favorite family recipe and you can cook together. Whether it’s a cake or a steak, you will definitely both enjoy your kitchen activity. 6. Time To Re-Organize - make this season a good excuse to organize things at home. You can help your employer to re-organize her clothes, photo albums and some important memorabilia at home. 7. Sunrise to Sunset - It’s not that possible for your employer to get up at 5:00 in the morning to see the sunrise but it’s possible for both of you to enjoy the sunset. You can always bring them to the beach and watch the birds fly home during sun down. You can bring a camera with you and take photos of the sun as it goes down to end the day. 8. Flower Power - It’s high time to fix your garden as your flower blooms in summer. It’s time to have that landscape done and organize your pots of herbs. Let your savta/saba enjoy the afternoon while watering the plants and pick some flowers for that big flower vase. There are a lot of ways on how to enjoy your summer with your savta or saba but it will all depends on their personality and interests. But no matter how fun it is to be under the sun, as a caregiver, you have to put into consideration the health and physical capability of your employer. In our next article, we will discuss the ways on how to protect your employer from the dangerous heat of the summer sun.

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