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The Country Fair

Rounding out the summer we see all of the community fairs happening. Many times we have attended these each year and will want to again this year. Attending a large venue is always a challenge when caring for another; and taking this person is even more difficult. However, the return on taking them is worth its weight in gold when we can do so with safety and relaxation.

The weather being so beautiful this time of year is a blessing for everyone. It is, very important to remember water and time. Make sure hats and lightweight clothing is the attire for the day, sunscreen is also important; in many cases skins is very fragile. Water should always be at the ready and provided frequently, not only to provide dehydration but it will also help protect the skin. When a person is well hydrated the body works better to maximize the elements inside and out of the body. Especially those with dementia require a bit more of our watchful eyes of the surroundings. It is always wise to take another caregiver with us to attend such events. This will provide a friendly time for all in the group, as well as breaks for each caregiver to attend to personal matters. While eating the food at such events is part of the experience; if the person you are caring for has specific dietary needs meet those first and use the food at the event as a treat. It is easy to prepare a quick nutritious sandwich or small meal for our person which we can all sit down and have, not to mention cost effective.

When at the fair with a person who is having some dementia pay close attention to where the hands are going, as many people with dementia like (just as all of us do) to pet the animals or look closely at the bridle, halter and so forth. However they are possibly not thinking of the results of an animal bite, kick or sanitation. Also, hands seem to automatically venture to the mouth or face. Bringing wet disposable hand wipes is especially helpful; and remember to check the hand sanitizers for ingredients before applying to the hands or face of a person who is frail.

Talk with the person about past events and remembering when attendance was mandatory with the children. These are frequently very pleasant memories for all; but please allow sufficient time for the person to answer or put in their comment. Sometimes it takes a little longer to formulate the response, but is so worth the time when the response comes. These are people with feelings and thoughts which equal ours, but have trouble getting all of these thoughts lined up and out.

Please have a wonderful time at the fair and enjoy the company. These are fun times for all.