Once summer rolls around, there is nothing better than spending time outside sitting in the shade, working in the garden or relaxing in the early morning or late afternoon sunshine. Summer weather is great for mental and physical well-bring and the sunshine just seems to make everyone feel better!
When it comes to your aging relatives, making certain they are able to enjoy the out-of-doors safely is a must. Make certain they can safely navigate any stairs that lead outside and that the pathways on which they walk are clear of debris and any items they could potentially trip over. While your relatives likely are aware, they need to stay hydrated when they're outside, even if they don't feel overly warm or overly thirsty.
If there is a spot in the yard where you can erect a raised garden bed where they can plant and cultivate fresh veggies that is much better than having to get onto and off of the ground to garden. Having a shaded space with comfortable chairs will also be a welcome respite if they're working in the yard, or for simply enjoying a cup of coffee and the morning newspaper.
Other considerations when you're spending time outside include being safe from outdoor pests. We have some suggestions for doing just that:
Wear light colored and light weight clothing. Hot days bring with them mosquitoes and other insects and perspiration draws them to us. Using a topical repellant and burning citronella candles will help keep them at bay. Light colored clothing also appears to repel them more than dark clothing and light-colored clothing won't absorb the heat.
Use bug repellent. There are topical products in the form of lotions or sprays and there are even bracelets on the market that have been shown to be effective in repelling outdoor insects. Whatever repellent is used, though make sure it is thoroughly washed off at the end of the day and also if there are pets in the house buy a product that isn't toxic to them. If there are pets in the household, make sure they are protected from ticks and fleas to keep them healthy and as a way to keep the fleas out of the house.
Remove all standing water and cut back nonessential shrubbery. Insects breed in standing, stagnant water and your shrubs could also be a breeding ground for them. Adding bird feeders around the yard will not only be a relaxing sight, but the birds will also help keep flying insects at bay.
Your relative can likely gauge his or her ability to work in the lawn or care for a small garden, but if they are willing and able to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, do what you can to facilitate that for them. Also, remember if they are prone to trip or fall accidents or suffer health issues, equipping the house with a medical alert system through LifeFone, and making certain they wear their medical alert pendant will keep them safe both indoors and out because they can call for help at the push of a button.