We have good news and bad news.
Bad news first: We blinked and now July is almost over.
Now for the good news: We are finally experiencing some “Summer” type weather just in time to grab your picnic basket, make some tasty treats and head for your favorite picnic spot to properly celebrate National Picnic Month.
That’s right, thanks to its typically warm weather, the American Baker’s Association officially declared July to be National Picnic Month.
Although National Picnic Month was first observed in 1952, the practice of packing a basket full of food and leaving one’s dining room in search of the perfect outdoor location to eat has been around for a long time.
According to historians, the term ‘picnic’ was first coined by Tony Willis in 1692. Since then, people from all walks of life and social classes have been fascinated with the concept of eating outside.
In the era of Hollywood, picnics are portrayed as romantic gatherings, but they don’t have to be. In fact, picnics are a great Summertime activity for senior loved ones. The lowkey atmosphere makes it a perfect opportunity for senior loved ones to get out of the house, enjoy nature, and eat some tasty food.
Before you pack your basket and plan a picnic with your elderly loved one, you will want to read Wiser Home Care Services’ 6 tips for senior picnics.
Tip 1: Make a Checklist
Pulling off a picnic without a hitch takes planning and preparation. Doing this requires a good checklist to ensure nothing is left out. Your checklist should include some of the following:
- Paper plates/bowls/cups
- A cooler
- Tupperware to hold the food
- Umbrella/tent for shade
- Bug spray
- First aid kit
Tip 2: Location, Location, Location
One of the most important parts of any picnic is the location. If your elderly one has good mobility, consider taking them to their favorite local park or maybe for a drive down the coast or into the mountains. However, if your senior needs to stay close to home, a backyard picnic can be a blast and will allow you to easily provide them with shade from the sun and easy access to a bathroom.
Tip 3: Where will you sit?
For us, the term ‘picnic’ conjures up thoughts of sitting on a blanket located on a grassy knoll. While that sounds peaceful, sitting on the ground can be difficult for senior loved ones. We recommend bringing camp chairs and a card table or planning your picnic at a location that provides tables and seating.
Tip 4: Protect Their Skin
If you have read any of our blogs in the past, you will know that we are sticklers when it comes to sunscreen. Even though we love the sun, its rays prove to be quite harmful for senior skin, which is why you need to make sure you provide plenty of sunscreen and shade for your loved one during a picnic.
Tip 5: What’s on the Menu?
Being a picnic, one of the most important parts is what you will eat. Since many elderly loved ones have dietary restrictions make sure you keep that in mind when planning your menu. We recommend providing heart healthy options like vegetables and fresh fruit. You will also want to make sure there are plenty of liquids to consume, especially water. This will help lower your loved one’s risk of heat-related illness during the picnic.
Tip 6: Plan Some Entertainment
One of the nice things about a picnic is enjoying the serenity and peacefulness of the great outdoors. However, bringing some additional entertainment will ensure the picnic lives on in memories for years to come. Some fun ideas are themed decade music from your loved one’s favorite era of music, cards and dice for some fun competition, or set aside time for stories of past family adventures.
As always, if you care for an elderly loved one and would like help with your senior picnic or further help developing an extensive care plan, Wiser Home Care Services is here for you. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Click here to request your free care assessment.