Preparing Your Aging Loved One for Spring
Spring is peeking it's warm face around the corner and now is a great time to start preparing your aging loved one for spring. Even though temperatures are on the rise, spring brings a lot of wet, volatile weather that most senior citizens neglect to address adequately without assistance from their caregivers.
5 Springtime Tips for Keeping Your Aging Loved One Happy and Healthy
1. Don't replace winter clothing with spring clothing just yet. We often think it "feels" warmer than it really is in the spring simply because we've acclimated to cold, winter air. Find out what the "real" temperature is before your loved one ventures outside and make sure they are dressed appropriately. A clear, blue sky and bright sun doesn't mean it's 75 degrees in April.
2. The end of April-first of May signals late spring, a time when the sun's UV output is rapidly intensifying. On sunny days, seniors should wear a hat more for protecting their scalp than for retaining body heat. Aging skin contains less melanocytes to absorb UV radiation and will burn quickly when exposed to unfiltered sunlight.
3. If your loved one uses a cane or other walking aid, inspect the rubber-tip covering for signs of degradation. Worn "feet" on walkers and canes may work OK on dry pavement but will slip easily on damp pavement. Spring showers can pop up anytime!
4. Create a severe weather plan for senior loved ones that involves designating a tornado-safe area in their home and compiling a list of emergency phone numbers. Purchase a weather radio they can keep on their bedside table and tune it to the local weather activation system for them so all they need to do is turn it on.
5. Do some minor spring cleaning with your loved one by going through their bathroom and kitchen cabinets and throwing out old medicine and food. Seniors often do not realize how long they've kept perishable foods or medications and may consume something that is out-of-date and possibly spoiled.
Getting Out and Enjoying Spring
Banish the winter blues by encouraging your loved one to engage in these warmer weather activities:
- Start a small indoor garden that can be transplanted later in an outside garden. Seniors may also prefer growing a mini-herb indoor garden that doesn't need transplanted.
- Pack a picnic, buy a kite and visit a park with friends. Getting outside in the sunshine and socializing with others is one of the best ways to keep your aging loved one physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.
- Spend a mild, spring afternoon playing putt-putt golf.
- Take a pleasant ride down less traveled side streets on a three-wheeled bike.
- Visit the local ice cream shop and eat an ice cream cone while sitting outside. Wave to strangers driving by and say hello to people walking by. It's spring--spread the joy!
Spring Activities at Presbyterian Senior Living Facilities
Presbyterian Senior Living provides senior citizens with a variety of springtime activities such as bird-watching, fishing and gardening. PSL continues to meet the needs of seniors living in Delaware, Pennsylvania, southeaster Ohio and Maryland by establishing comfortable living arrangements in 30 different locations.
To learn more about preparing your aging loved one for spring or to access resources offered by Presbyterian Senior Living, visit their website at www.presbyterianseniorliving.org or call 717.502.8840.
About Presbyterian Senior Living
Presbyterian Senior Living is a not-for-profit organization, fulfilling its charitable purpose and mission by providing high quality retirement choices, healthcare services and affordable residential living options for people 55 and older for more than 85 years. Headquartered in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, Presbyterian Senior Living provides services to approximately 6,000 seniors in 30 locations in the mid-Atlantic region of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and Delaware.