Resources

Springtime For Seniors
05. 15. 14

When springtime comes, it isn't just the chronologically young who get spring fever. The elderly, who can be downright young at heart, also want and need to go outside and enjoy the warmth, sunshine, and amazing scents that spring heralds in for all of us to enjoy. There are many activities senior citizens can enjoy outdoors that are fulfilling while not being too physically demanding.
Here are some ideas that can be beneficial both physically as well as mentally.

Gardening
Gardening is a classic way for the elderly to enjoy nature in the spring. Depending on their health and fitness, and the level of difficulty of the gardening, this is a perfect way to participate with a fun and productive outdoor activity, either with friends or alone.

Did you know Horticultural therapy is the practice of gardening as a therapy to improve human well-being. According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, HT is defined as "a process utilizing plants and horticultural activities to improve social, educational, psychological and physical adjustment of persons thus improving their body, mind, and spirit."
Gardening can be a very fulfilling activity for the elderly. Tending plants can overcome feelings of isolation by giving individuals the opportunity to play a more active part in the world around them. Being responsible for the care of plants can help residents feel more in control.

Windowsill plants of various herbs and flowers can provide some pleasant indoor activity and make the environment pretty. Pansies and marigolds can grow well in a sunny window. Having plants of lavender and mint will also give a pleasant scent to the room.

Get the yard ready with cleaning outdoor furniture and pulling weeds.

Kite Flying

Kite flying isn't just for kids. This lighthearted activity is wonderful for groups of friends, and it combines getting basic walking exercise with an exhilarating experience that rekindles thoughts of youth.

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning for both the senior and the caregiver can give the senior some input into what can be donated and what goes back in the closet.

Put up a bulletin board for your senior. You can put photos, day of the week, the time of a favorite TV show and the birthdays or special occasions of family members. You can even put the flower of the day on the board.

Small Changes

Make some small changes in the house such as getting throw pillow in bright colors for spring. Small changes can make a difference. Big changes can be stressful.

Remember that depression that can overcome a senior in the winter may still be a problem in springtime. If your senior is withdrawn, always tired, having sleep problems, and verbalizing a sense of hopelessness, then it is time to seek professional help.

Seniors can be as happy as you to say goodbye to winter. Helping them enjoy the change in season can be a positive experience for both the senior and the caregiver.

So, happy planting!

Nancy Hahn, RN, MPH
Vice President,
Americare, Inc.

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