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What is National Picnic Month?Everyone enjoys a picnic and what better time to host one than during National Picnic Month. National picnic month is just one excuse that people use to get outdoors and enjoy good food and amazing company. Whether the picnic is with a family caregiver or with an elder care provider on a weekly outing, the time spent can provide seniors with many physical and mental benefits.

Profile of a Picnic

Picnics are simply eating a meal outdoors, and there are no real rules that families need to follow. They can be large, with lots of relatives present and centered around a special event, or they can be small, such as between an aging adult and their elder care provider. No matter what, picnics are a wonderful way for aging adults to get out of their home and enjoy something beyond their normal routine.

When it comes to a picnic location, there are usually several options in a senior’s immediate area. A local park with picnic tables is usually the easiest and best bet as there is usually adequate parking, easy paths and plenty of space. Nearby tourist areas may also be good picnic locations as are state and national parks. If the elderly person is outdoors and enjoying the food and company, the picnic will be a success.

Tips for Picnics with Seniors

When family caregivers or elder care providers prepare a picnic for the elderly adult, there are several things the need to keep in mind. The first safety factor has to do with food safety and protecting everyone from foodborne illnesses. It’s important to make sure cold food stays cold and hot food stays hot so that bacteria won’t form. It’s best to bring as many non-perishable foods as possible to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

Another tip for picnicking with seniors is to beware of sun exposure. Elderly adults have thin skin that doesn’t do well in the sun; they should be wearing sunblock with a high SPF as well as a wide brimmed hat. A little sun exposure is good, as it prompts the body to manufacture vitamin D. However, even a mild sunburn can cause health problems for the elderly. Above all, seniors should stay in the shade of a pavilion, tree or other structure to keep them cool and comfortable.

Finally, whenever an elderly person is going to be outdoors for a long time, family caregivers and elder care providers must ensure they don’t get dehydrated. It’s too easy for an aging adult’s body to lose fluids and when they are in a warm, outdoor environment, they lose even more. Dehydration can negatively impact an aging person’s health, so elder care providers need to have them drink water frequently.

Family caregivers and elder care providers don’t need to wait for August’s National Picnic Month to enjoy an outdoor meal. Picnics are popular because they are a fun way to enjoy a meal and to be somewhere out of the ordinary. Elderly adults will certainly enjoy picnics on a regular basis and benefit from the experience.