Heading out for a picnic during the summer months is one of the most popular ways for families to spend time together. This is a great way to enjoy the warm weather, fresh air, and more casual lifestyle that defines these months, while also promoting activity, quality time, and making memories that you can treasure for years into the future. As a family caregiver it is important that you recognize the potential dangers that can come along with this type of activity as well, namely, food-borne infection. Also known as food-borne illness, this type of infection is caused by pathogens in food, and can be particularly dangerous for elderly adults. Understanding what you can do to prevent these infections can protect your senior, and the rest of your family, from the potentially devastating consequences while encouraging your family to enjoy special time together during the summer months.
Use these food safety tips to ensure that picnicking is a safe and healthy activity for your elderly loved one:
- Keep beverages in a separate cooler from the food. This allows picnic-goers to reach in for a cool beverage without exposing any food to the warm temperatures outside
- Do not store food in the trunk. Even if your food is in a cooler, avoid putting it into the trunk. The trunk is very hot, which can compromise food even if it is in a cooler
- Put out food at the last minute. Do not put any food, particularly vulnerable food such as that containing mayonnaise, out until everyone is ready to eat to minimize the amount of time that it is exposed to the heat
- Do not leave food out. Avoid leaving the picnic spread out for long periods of time while everyone “grazes”. Instead, have everyone eat within half an hour and then put the food back in the cooler. If you must have the food out for longer, surround the containers with ice packs to keep it safe for up to an hour.
If you have been looking for a way to help your parent achieve and maintain a higher quality of life as they age in place, starting elder care for them may be the ideal choice. An elderly home care services provider can be with your senior on a schedule that is customized to their individual needs so that they are able to not only manage their challenges and limitations in the way that is right for them, but can also pursue a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, independent, and fulfilling as possible throughout your parent’s later years. This care provider can give your parent a wide range of services that are highly personalized to ensure that they are able to live the quality of life that they desire and deserve. This can include providing safe and reliable transportation to where they need and want to go so that they can maintain more activity and independence, assisting with personal care needs, and encouraging your loved one to make healthy lifestyle choices that can protect their health and well-being. When it comes to protecting your senior from food-borne illness, this care provider can support your parent in ensuring that their food is prepared and stored properly, and that expired foods are removed from the kitchen before they can potentially cause an illness.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from elder care in Concord, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.