There is truly nothing like being outside on a nice summer evening enjoying nature with those you love. We are in a season where most of us are outside for the majority of our week. Whether that’s for yard work, play, or simply just to be outside. Our elderly people should get to enjoy this as well! However, getting outside may not be as easy for them as it used to be. There’s uneven ground, heat, long distances, dehydration and more challenges that await them while being outside. That shouldn’t stop them from going! They just need to be prepared before they leave their humble abode so they can return safely.
Here at Bel Aire we know that safety outside the home is of paramount importance for seniors. We also know how important it is that our residents are outside often so they can get exercise, vitamin D, and feel independent. However, as they age, individuals may face certain physical and cognitive challenges that can increase their vulnerability to accidents and injuries. Here are some things to always take into consideration when helping our seniors while outside.
Falls are a major concern for older adults, and they often occur outside the home. Uneven pavements, slippery surfaces, poorly maintained walkways, and inadequate lighting can contribute to falls and related injuries. Ensuring a safe outdoor environment includes well-maintained and level sidewalks/ walking grounds, using handrails when available, adequate sunlight or good lighting, and necessary walking and balance equipment can significantly reduce the risk of falls. The best times to walk around outside would be mornings or evenings when the light isn’t so intense. Another way that dramatically reduces the risk of falls would be drinking enough water. Drinking water before, during, and after being outside can help them to have more stamina and balance.
Being outside often means there will be long distances of walking. Having proper tools to assist with these distances will not only help them to make it where they need to go but also to get there safely and less fatigued. These tools can include canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. Here at Bel Aire our building is built to be able to have enough room for wheelchairs (including Jazzy’s) and walkers without it feeling like they take up the whole hallway. We know the importance of these pieces of equipment and the independence they give back to people.
Overall, prioritizing safety outside the home for elderly individuals not only helps prevent accidents and injuries but also promotes their well-being, independence, and overall health. It is crucial to consider their specific needs and challenges when taking them for a big outing but it is also crucial that they are getting enough time in the beautiful creations we live among.