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14 Tips for an Elderly-Friendly Fourth of July

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.

Read More:
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14 Tips to Make the Fourth Fun For You and Elderly Loved Ones originally appeared on

Read more: 4th of July, Aging, Caregiving, Family, Holidays, Life, , , , , , ,

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8:49AM PDT on May 26, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

10:47AM PDT on May 25, 2012


3:57AM PDT on Jul 11, 2011

Thanks for this article.

8:27AM PDT on Jul 4, 2011

very considerate

5:52AM PDT on Jul 2, 2011

I saw two seniors medically evacuated from a graduation ceremony on June 18th. It was 'only' about 85 degrees. Direct sun, sitting on picnic benches or bleachers, a unexpected walk up stairs or a hill, all these things can be rough on a senior who appears to be just fine when they're in their own home. For example, my Dad requires a bathroom with a ledge or shelf where he can deal with ostomy materials; a port-a-potty is a no-go. Tell the senior beforehand *exactly* what weather conditions, terrain, bathroom and rest facilities will be available. No surprises!

5:26AM PDT on Jul 2, 2011

Thank you!

12:52PM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

As an inadvertent senior, I thank you for your consideration!

6:12AM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

As an elderly person--although I am still able to take care of myself in these situations, someday I might not be--I am glad to see people taking note of the special circumstances we are in at times. I especially like the hints about not embarrassing the senior. Thank you.

5:40AM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

Thank you so much

4:37PM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

Interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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