NAPLES, Fla., June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Summer cookouts are meant for family fun. But what if your guest list includes an elderly person?
Heat, noise, bugs and rambunctious children—as well as dietary no-nos like fatty foods and beer—are all problems for seniors, as well as for their hosts and their caregivers. But these and other problems can be avoided or minimized with a little advance planning.
AgingCare.com, the premier website for caregivers to the elderly, talked to experts, including a chef, a nurse, a dietician and a geriatric manager, to find out what hosts should and shouldn't serve at a backyard barbecue, as well as ways for hosts and caregivers to ensure that everyone has a happy, healthy time.
Among their tips:
- Avoid foods that are too spicy, fatty or hard to chew, but be sure to include some familiar "comfort" foods like macaroni and low-fat cheese. A salad bar where guests can choose among healthy items is another good option.
- Don't serve the senior alcohol in any form. It is dehydrating, which can be deadly for an elderly person.
- Backless picnic benches can be difficult for an elderly person to sit on, so provide a folding chair or stackable plastic chair.
- If there's no shade in the backyard, bring out a portable beach umbrella.
- Set up a spot away from the hot grill and any areas where children are likely to be throwing balls or rough-housing. If the elderly person has mobility problems, position it close to a bathroom.
- If the elderly person can't get around much but is sociable, bring other partygoers over for brief chats. But if the senior has trouble communicating, bring headphones, a CD player and some music, so he or she will be able to enjoy being around others without being under pressure to talk.
- 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.
- Watch the senior for signs of restlessness, overheating or other distress.
For more information and tips, go to:
AgingCare.com is a leading online community that connects people caring for elderly parents to other caregivers, personalized information, and local resources. AgingCare.com has become the trusted resource for exchanging ideas, sharing conversations and finding credible information for those seeking elder care solutions. For more information, visit www.agingcare.com.