How to Use Traffic Awareness When Walking With Seniors
August 6, 2019
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
August is National Traffic Awareness Month. While this is a fantastic time for you to evaluate your parent’s ability to continue driving, and even your own driving skills and habits, there are other benefits to thinking about traffic during this month as well. One way is to keep in mind traffic laws and patterns when enjoying walks with your senior.
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise that you can share with your elderly parent. Getting outside and enjoying a walk, even if it is only around the block, gives both of you fresh air, boosts your mental and emotional health, supports extra physical activity for improved physical health and well-being, and gives you the opportunity to spend extra quality time with your parent. As with anything else in your caregiver journey with them, however, it is extremely important that you keep in mind your parent’s safety when planning and enjoying your walks together.
Guide to Using Traffic Awareness When Walking With Seniors
Some ways that you can use traffic awareness when walking with your elderly family member include:
Review your route. Before you head out for a walk, review the route that you want to take. Look for a place that is pedestrian friendly, that is, that has sidewalks or walking lanes so you can avoid simply walking through traffic. This also allows you to choose a route that is the appropriate length to get you back to your starting point before getting exhausted.
Know the signs. Go over traffic signs with your parent and talk about what they mean and how to follow them properly. Though most traffic signs pertain to the drivers on the road, understanding these will help you to make the right moves and decisions when you are walking with your parent. For example, understanding rules regarding turns helps you to know when and where it is safe to cross the street.
Stick to the basics. Never underestimate the importance of basic traffic safety concepts. Remind your parent, and yourself, to look both ways before you cross the street, to follow red and green lights just as a vehicle would, and to always acknowledge drivers when you are going to cross in front of them.
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Starting elderly care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you can make for your elderly family member throughout the course of your caregiver journey with them. Being a family caregiver means that you want to make sure that their needs and challenges are met effectively while being an adult child means that you want your senior to live the highest quality of life possible as they age in place.
The highly personalized services of an elderly home care services provider can help you to achieve both goals. These services are designed specifically to address your parent’s limitations and challenges while also helping them to pursue a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, and independent as they can throughout their later years. By understanding your parent’s needs and their individuality, this care provider gives them the support, care, and assistance that they need to stay happy, healthy, safe, and comfortable, for a lifestyle that is fulfilling and right for your senior.