An elder/senior who is homebound due to physical or mental disabilities can sometimes get depressed due to dwelling on this loss of independence. A change of scenery or environment may help to brighten his/her mood, even if temporarily.
If the elder has a physical disability that limits his/her mobility consider investing in a portable wheelchair ramp to help ‘expand his/her horizons’ beyond the home. This makes it safer for the elder to leave the home and easier on the caregiver to facilitate an outing.
Sometimes just getting out of the house will improve someone’s mood. Taking him/her outside to sit in the sun and enjoy the yard, taking to the grocery store to help choose household goods and food supplies, or simply a ride about town to view the scenery and the changes in houses, landscaping, neighborhoods, decorations, etc. can be very helpful in uplifting moods. Not only does it offer a change of pace but it gives him/her something positive to reflect on in the days that follow.
Leaving the home for a few hours also calls for preparation. If the elder has incontinence issues then it may be necessary to take a change of underclothes or other clothing. Incontinence pads are available in many sizes and it may be wise planning to place a small pad in the passenger’s seat in anticipation of an accident. Try to limit the trip’s distance to that of reasonable proximity to the home so if there is an emergency it won’t take long to drive back if needed.
The senior should be dressed in comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing to ensure his/her enjoyment and comfort for the trip outside the home. Don’t neglect to check the footwear and change as appropriate; proper shoe-wear is also critical to the safe, secure transport and ambulation of the senior outside the home.
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