Caring for the senior in your life can take a lot out of you. The day-to-day routines of caring for someone can become monotonous quickly, especially if the senior you are caring for has limited mobility. Being stuck inside all of the time isn’t fun for anyone. You might be dreaming of taking a day trip or getting outside for some adventure or fun, but the thought of trying to coordinate something like that, especially if you don’t have any readily available help can be daunting. Activity and socialization are important to the well being not only of the senior in your life but for you, as the caretaker as well. To help you get out of the home more often, here’s how you can plan a day trip for the senior in your life and make the most of your time together.
If getting a senior out of the house is a production and requires a lot of help that you don’t always have, you’ll want to make a point of planning your outing in advance. Over time, you can come to create new schedules and routines that might incorporate getting outside more often, but if it is really difficult, a few trips a month are more than enough to start. Plan your trips for at least a few weeks in advance of the outing. This gives you time to coordinate help from people who need time to work the outing in their schedule.
Pick a Place
For your first outing, you might want to avoid travelling too far from home. Seniors can become overwhelmed with changes sometimes and that might mean a very uncomfortable drive home after what might prove to be an otherwise successful day trip. So start locally: check out a museum (make sure to confirm accessibility for wheelchairs if applicable). You might plan to visit the museum, have lunch at a cafe or restaurant near the museum and return home after lunch. Your day trip can be successful if you give yourself plenty of time to get to where you want to go and plenty of time to help a senior in and out of vehicles, up and down stairs if necessary, and getting around in general. Avoid frustration by pre-purchasing tickets or passes so you and the senior in your life don’t have to stand in line wasting energy and an adventurous attitude.
Plan a Down Day
Following an outing, it’s sometimes best to plan a day of relaxing activities. If you start making outings that are just half a day, you’ll want to incorporate lighter activities into the afternoon portion of the day. Some seniors, depending on their health or wellness, may prefer to take a nap or rest in the afternoon. If you need help coordinating care and services, check to see if a CDPAP agency is available to provide support for people who care for seniors. If you need help with ongoing care, programs are also available for that level of support as well.
Have a Backup Plan
If your outing is weather dependent, be sure to plan a backup activity so neither you nor the senior in your life is disappointed by the sudden cancellation. Movie theatres, museums, libraries, shopping malls, and theatre shows are all great options for taking a senior out for the day, especially if your plans suddenly get rained on. Visiting a local park, taking in an outdoor market, or driving through nearby towns to take in yard sales on Sunday morning are all a great way to get out of the home and enjoy some time away.
Whatever you decide to do with the senior in your life, make sure you have the resources and support in place to help you make an outing or experience a success. With enough lead time, planning and preparation, even seniors who are house-bound can enjoy a day with friends or family exploring what the city has to offer.