Updated: Nov 21, 2019
Going on outings with an aging loved one can be stressful, especially with the added complications of winter weather. Though these day trips can be a hassle to plan, sometimes they’re necessary. Whether you’re leaving the house out of necessity for a doctor’s appointment across town, or you simply want to give your loved one a change of scenery, there are some simple ways to prepare for the trip in advance.
In this article, we’ll provide some helpful tips to prepare for a smooth outing with an aging loved one during these colder winter months.
Research Ahead of Time
For a successful trip, there are a few things to do before even leaving the house. Check online or call ahead to make sure the intended destination doesn’t have any updated policies, adjusted hours or new rules that will impact the trip. Research a few different routes to the destination in the event of any unexpected road closures or getting lost.
This only takes a few minutes of time, but, in the end, can save time, energy, or a wasted trip altogether.
Create A Schedule
For many aging individuals, especially those with any type of medical condition, sticking to a daily schedule for meals, medicines, visits, or other activities helps them to stay on track and in good health. Whether or not a strict schedule is followed, having an idea of how long the trip will take, and taking appropriate action to prepare for it can make or break the outing.
If possible, arrange outings to accommodate for usual meal times or nap times to ensure your loved one is energized, in a good mood, and a clear state of mind. If medical dosages will need to be administered during the outing, make sure to bring them along.
Pack Some Fun Items
In addition to bringing items you need, like medications, it may be a good idea to also pack items for personal enjoyment. At some point, you may end up having to wait around for a while and, whether you’re waiting at the doctor’s office, or in winter weather traffic on the way home, you can bring along a good book or play good music to entertain yourself or your loved one.
Regardless of the destination, dressing appropriately is not only important for personal comfort, but also crucial for safety. This is especially true for older adults, who are more susceptible to cold-related conditions like hypothermia, due to the thinning of skin with age.
It’s important to wear layered clothing that can be easily removed and put on, as needed. Remember that you can always take off extra layers if you get overheated, but you can’t put on layers you don’t have. In addition to wearing winter layers and accessories like hats, gloves and scarves, seniors should be mindful of their footwear choices. Having shoes that offer the right amount of comfort and traction can prevent falls- even during the icy winter months we’re currently experiencing. Weather can be unpredictable, so, as the saying goes: it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.
These are just some important things to keep in mind while going on outings with older adults during the winter season.