At the barbecue
–Set up a spot for your relative away from the hot grill and any areas where children are likely to be throwing balls or rough-housing.
–Find out the location of the closest bathroom, and if accidents could be a problem, seat the senior near it. If your relative needs assistance using the restroom, you might want to arrange a discreet hand sign or code word between you so you can excuse yourself to help without embarrassing him or her.
–If your relative can’t get around much but is sociable, bring other partygoers over for brief chats.
–Since dehydration can be a problem with elderly people, make sure that a glass of water is always at hand. Avoid alcoholic beverages, which are not only dehydrating but also can conflict with medications.
–If you must cut some meat off a bone or corn off of a cob, do it in the kitchen and then bring the plate to the senior. Cutting up food in front of other partygoers puts the senior in an embarrassing, child-like position.
–If your relative can’t get around much but is sociable, bring other partygoers over for brief chats. And ask other family members or friends to sit down with the senior from time to time so you can mingle, too.
–If your loved one can’t communicate well, bring headphones, a CD player and some music. He or she will be able to enjoy being around others without being under pressure to talk.
–Watch your loved one for signs of restlessness, overheating or other distress, and be prepared to leave before the festivities end.
14 Tips to Make the Fourth Fun For You and Elderly Loved Ones originally appeared on AgingCare.com