Summer is one of the most exciting times of the year here in New England. After a long winter, many of us are desperate to get outside and begin to enjoy the short summer season. Additionally, we see a tremendous influx of seniors returning to our community after spending the winter months in warmer areas. With that in mind, we want to provide you with some tips for summer safety that will benefit our senior clients and those with mobility difficulties. In addition, we have shared below some great information from our Rhode Island State Parks that can help find accessible outdoor activities throughout the state.
- One of the most common reasons for elderly hospital admission during the summer months is from dehydration. We recommend that for all outdoor activities, you have at least 12 oz of water with you in a travel friendly container. Hydration helps to keep our blood pressure regulated and can prevent fatigue and fainting when outside. A good rule of thumb is that “If you feel thirsty, it’s already too late!”. Prehydration before activity, during, and post activity is crucial.
Make your Plans Known
- Regardless of the activity, ensure that a family member, friend, or caregiver knows your plans. Those plans could include being out in the garden, or perhaps going for a nature walk. Having your location known will help ensure that there is a system in place to check on you and know that you have returned home safely. Even better would be to invite somebody to accompany you on those plans.
Utilize Mobility Aids
- Being outside presents a new set of challenges for those with mobility difficulties. Surfaces are often uneven, sandy, and can be pitched down or up at significant angles. This is a fantastic opportunity to use a mobility aid of your choosing. One option could be a rollator (as shown above) that allows you to sit down for rest breaks, while also providing a strong base of support with its four wheels. Another option could be as simple as trekking poles or a walking stick. There are many options available for your specific needs, and we of course are always happy to discuss this with you.
Know your limits
- One of the common reasons we see falls and injury during the summer is because our clients have overestimated their abilities. After a long winter, many clients go into the summer being over ambitious. It is important to understand that lack of activity during the winter may have led to de-conditioning. Starting slow and gradually increasing outdoor activity will ensure safety.
Rhode Island has taken some terrific initiatives to provide accessible parks to its residents and greater communities. Below we have attached a chart that describes our state parks, and their accessible offerings. For additional information please click here to learn more.
RI Summer Accessibility
Another great resource for our clients is https://access-ri.org . Their user-friendly website has information for accessible options throughout the state. The site is broken down by activity and ensures that when you leave the house, you know that you will be safe and able to access your location of choice.
Oakley Home Access is your resource for all things home mobility and accessibility. However our knowledgeable staff can assist you with community accessibility as well. If you have general questions about your home or community, please look into our website and our Facebook page. If you would like to schedule a Free Home Safety Assessment or Business Accessibility Assessment, please reach out to our office at 401.429.3882. Stay Safe!