Summer Fun!

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This week I want to talk about having fun and enjoying summer during your caregiving journey. Summer is my favorite season! I have always loved all things sun and summer. I grew up in New York and hated all things cold! I don’t know how I survived so many winters. 

Over the years, I have found myself wondering what summer will hold for my family. See as a caregiver for a wounded warrior, our life is a little different than most. And activities that may seem like no big deal for most, can be added stress in the life of a caregiver.

For most families, visiting crowded destinations is no big deal. But when you have the added worries of Traumatic Brain Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder these simple activites can also bring added concerns. How will my loved one respond to the crowds? Will he become overwhelmed? Is there an easy exit strategy for when it becomes too much? 

I want to share a few tips that I have found to be very useful for our family, in the hopes that they will help you too! 

  •  Communication. Keeping open communication before, during and after an event can have a major impact on the outcome. Start by discussing what your loved one can expect when they enter an event or place. 
  • Create a plan. I have learned over the years to be able to spot when something is becoming too much for my husband. When I notice the little things, I make an effort to make the necessary adjustments to help him. 
  • Go into it with realistic expectations. If your loved one becomes too overwhelmed or stimulated by an experience or event, it’s okay to leave. 
  • Find activities that your loved one can thrive in. If crowds aren’t there thing, look for events that have limited people. 
  • If you are spending your time with others, make sure they are aware of your loved ones challenges before-hand. 

Ultimately, I think open communication is one of the most important ways to ensure fun for all. Knowing how to respond and what steps to take to help your loved one are so important. And knowing signs to look for can make a huge difference. 

My husband and I recently took our son to Disney World. While the happiest place in the world for most, it is a source of stress for my husband. We have been asking him to come with us for a year and he finally came. Before we got there, I set my husband up with what to expect with everything from the parking, park entry and the entire process so that he was as mentally prepared as he could be before we entered the park. We spent about 3 hours in the park and I honestly believe the park visit was an overall success because I took the time to help prepare my husband.

I want to share some of our family’s favorite summer fun ideas:

  • Nature walks
  • Fishing
  • Fireworks (if my husband is the one setting them off.)
  • Swimming
  • Visiting the Aquarium 
Comment below and let me know some of your family’s favorite summer fun activities too! 

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