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Whether it’s your backyard or your neighborhood park, trips outside the home – if appropriately planned for – can be a great way to spend time. Here are some tips to help you plan:

  • Know Thyself: If you, or someone you care for, has significant difficulty walking, with transfers and so on, it’s preferential any activity could be performed in the home is done in the home.  Many primary care providers have in-home medical visits available for instance.  This is also true of things like blood work and care tasks.  Save the outside visits for special times.
  • Get Prepared: If someone is receiving you when you head out on a trip make sure they are aware of any assistive devices you might use or anything else they should know to receive you.  If you’re out for a while, make sure you take medications you may normally take during that time and any personal supplies you think you may need. 
  • Check Conditions: Hot weather means bringing water to keep you hydrated and clothing to protect your head and skin.  Caution should be taken if outside weather is 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.  Rainy weather means your danger of slips and falls increase, so footwear, assistive devices and extra care should be taken when walking and transferring.
  • Stay in the Shade: The sun can be especially damaging to older skin so favorite chairs, loungers, picnic areas and so on should be chosen or updated with plenty of shade. 
  • Update Your Property: Anywhere you think you’d travel make sure you’ve organized things to lower your risk of falls and injuries.  Proper lighting at night, grip tape on hard surfaces which get slippery, and proper leveling of pathways to reduce fall risk and ease transfers, are all good practices.
  • Dementia Care: If you’re living or caring for someone with dementia, any hobbies or tasks outdoors should be supervised; while dangerous implements, tools, fertilizers and chemicals should be properly secured.  It is good practice to secure car keys, as well.

Here are some additional resources that may help with your understanding of this topic::