What to consider when planning an outdoor excursion with a loved one

As friends and family members of residents in long-term care or retirement living, it is important to consider how you can take part in their lives in new and exciting ways. Excursions outside are encouraged to give residents an exciting opportunity to see or learn something new and socialize outside of usual circles. These trips outside can be incredibly fulfilling and revitalizing for residents and should be a priority for those who are able to do so.

Be sure to check in with us for rules and regulations before planning and going out on your day trips. Sometimes, key details such as visiting hours, procedures, medication schedules, and other factors can influence what kinds of excursions are possible. If you are planning to visit your loved one and take them out for a casual excursion outside of the residence, here are some key considerations to make the best of your day out:

What does your loved one want to do?

The first thing to consider when planning an out of residence excursion is how your loved one is feeling. Take their preferences, interests, and hobbies into account when planning your itinerary for the day. If you can, involve them in the planning process! They might have ideas or feel excited to be a part of the process.

This consideration also allows for the resident to set expectations for the day, including how far they are comfortable going, how long they want to stay out for, and if there’s anything they might be apprehensive about. At the end of the day, the goal is to have a safe, fun, and successful trip no matter how big or small. Setting expectations for an excursion means that everyone can make the most of it and have their wants and needs met in the process – plus planning together is like a whole other fun activity in itself!

Is it accessible?

Another integral consideration when planning a trip, is to take accessibility into account. Even if it doesn’t include physical exertion, limitations in physical mobility might dictate where you can and can’t go. Think about the transportation aspects of the trip, whether it will be a busy route or if a wheelchair will be needed, and how close the excursion is to the residence and what that long car ride might look like for different passengers. And finally, don’t forget about the weather! Especially in Canada, seasonal weather can seriously impede accessibility for those using mobility devices such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. Be sure to take the weather into consideration and have back up plans for if mother nature changes her mind last minute.

Prepare for a fun day

Be prepared enough that you can have fun no matter what. When planning an outdoor excursion with a loved one, there may be certain physical or emotional limitations to be conscious of. For example, if you are planning an activity that requires physical exertion or being outside in the heat for extended periods of time, pack a bag with lots of water, snacks, sunscreen, and an extra layer of clothing. If you can, bring extra of everything you need, just in case something happens, and your plans get extended (you don’t want to get hangry or too hot).

Being prepared with a backup plan, a travel plan, an extra set of hands, or even just an acceptance that the plans might have to change throughout the day will set you up for a successful trip.

When you take a loved one who lives in a long-term care or retirement residence on an out-of-home excursion, you are showing just how much you care about spending quality time and being a part of their fulfilled life. It gives you the opportunity to connect over new experiences and share precious time together, making lasting memories with the people that you love.

For more information about Omni’s Rules and regulations regarding visitors and resident excursions, please connect in with us directly so we can help make your experiences safe, fun and interactive.