For those seniors interesting in adding a bit of thrill to their daily lives, parasailing might be the option for you. You may be wondering whether this a safe activity. If so, are there extra precautions that seniors need to be aware of before taking flight?
Parasailing is generally considered a safe activity for nearly all ages, including seniors. Seniors with a preexisting medical condition may want to use extra caution. Parasailing operators will provide a safety briefing discussing the risks, which can help you make an informed decision.
There are certain factors that everyone, especially seniors, will want to pay attention to, to ensure that they experience an enjoyable flight. Continue reading for a comprehensive look at the factors that influence parasailing as a senior.
Parasailing Safety for Seniors
Traditional activities that you may consider low risk and low danger to keep seniors safe can give way to more exciting events you may not think would be geared towards an older demographic. Parasailing is one of these daring new activities.
Is this activity is safe for seniors? Are there any safety aspects that will affect them more?
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As I mentioned earlier, parasailing is generally an extremely safe activity. However, you must be cautious, especially when you think about potentially being attached to a line 500 – 1000 feet above the water.
Below are a couple of the most critical factors for seniors to consider before parasailing.
Preexisting Medical Conditions
Even though parasailing is relatively safe, after all, you are still attached to a parachute. If you have a medical condition, it is up to you to make an informed decision about whether this is a smart activity for you.
For example, if you have a preexisting heart condition, and you are concerned that the excitement from being that high or from a gust of wind jostling you in the air will trigger an episode, then parasailing may not be a sound choice.
When parasailing, you will be strapped into a harness while you’re in the boat. Trained personnel will slowly let out the rope until you reach peak altitude. If you’re having hip issues, then your full weight is supported by a harness for a long time. It may not be the most comfortable position.
The conditions can vary; it is just up to each individual to choose to keep themselves safe and healthy.
Fear of Heights
Relating somewhat to a preexisting medical condition, if you have a fear of heights as a senior, you may want to consider a different activity.
The heights you reach when parasailing varies depending on what company you book your flight through. As we’ve mentioned, generally, you can expect to be at least 500 feet in the air. While this will give you spectacular views of your surrounding areas, it will also be terrifying if you have a fear of heights.
Though anyone who has this phobia should probably avoid this activity, it is especially crucial for seniors. If being this high is going to cause panic attacks or a similar reaction, please avoid parasailing.
You might think that the only reason that vision would come into play when parasailing is while you’re enjoying the views. However, this is not the case.
We’ve talked about how high you’ll be when the operator extends the line entirely. Something you might not think about, though, is your hearing will be compromised. Since you won’t hear the parasailing operator, they have all developed a series of hand signals that you use to communicate with each other.
If your vision isn’t reliable, you may have a hard time seeing your operator. If you can’t see the boat operator, you could miss out on crucial emergency communication. On the off chance that an emergency happens, and you cannot see it and react, that can have grave repercussions.
Of course, the examples listed above are extreme cases and are more the exception than the rule.
Since parasailing is generally a very safe activity for seniors, the following items are more generalized safety tips that everyone should consider.
Before you go parasailing, your operator should always provide you with release forms that outline some of the risks involved.
First, you should immediately cancel your parasailing trip if you don’t receive these documents.
Second, your operator should go through everything on the form with you rather than leaving you to look over it yourself. When they go over it with you and explain each section, you ensure that you have a full scope of the potential issues that could happen if you choose to parasail.
Make sure that if there is something that you don’t understand, you ask for clarification. You have to make sure you feel comfortable, or the experience will be less enjoyable.
Like release forms, there should also be a safety briefing before you head to the boat to take flight.
This safety briefing should reinforce everything that was on the release forms that you signed.
During this process, the operator should explain several things in full detail, starting with what you’ll be doing and some of the risks involved. This discussion should clear up anything you don’t understand and put your mind at ease if you’re nervous about any aspect.
Some of the topics that you’ll cover are as follows:
- How to stay safe while you’re on the boat
- Instructions to follow in the case of an emergency water landing
- The hand signals that you should use to communicate with your operator
Again, some of the more extreme scenarios aren’t likely to happen, but it is vital to make sure you understand them and can perform any task asked of you.
A reputable company should keep all of their equipment in outstanding condition. All gear should be in good shape and not show any signs of wear to limit the risk of extreme failure.
Look over all the equipment:
- The tow lines
If they look weathered or worn, you should not proceed with your flight.
You should always check the weather report before you choose to go parasailing. If there is inclement weather or high winds, you should cancel or reschedule your parasailing trip.
If the weather report looked fine when you checked, but it changes once you arrive at your chosen parasailing business, the operator should tell you whether it is safe to be on the water.
When the weather is clearly not safe, you should cancel your trip. Even if the operator is still willing to take you out on the water. One of the most dangerous things while parasailing is high winds.
Your operator should know this and advise you on the correct course of action.
As we’ve discussed, parasailing is a relatively safe activity for all ages. For seniors, it can be an extremely entertaining activity that can provide you with that childhood sense of wonder again.
There aren’t many reasons that a senior shouldn’t go parasailing, and in most cases, it will be up to you to make an informed decision. An experienced operator will provide you with all the necessary information to make the best decision for your health.
Besides making sure that your current health is conducive to parasailing, knowing, and being briefed on the proper safety procedures is paramount. Rarely will an emergency take place, but if it does, you have to make sure that you understand and can perform the tasks that are required.
Once you’ve met all these requirements, you’re ready to take in the fantastic views and get that boost of adrenaline!