Spring is a time of new growth and warm weather. After spending the winter indoors, your elderly loved one may yearn to hear birds sing and see flowers blooming again. In fact, fresh air and sunshine have been proven to contribute to good health—both physically and mentally. Many doctors recommend spending some time outdoors each day so the body can generate Vitamin D. Here are eight simple and uplifting spring activities for the elderly to enjoy:
- Take A Walk
Enjoy a short walk along a paved path so you can enjoy the budding flowers and watch for wildlife. Keep in mind that even if you only walk a short distance, you both can take your time and take pleasure in the experience. If your loved one is in a wheelchair, push him or her along the path. This is a wonderful way to take in all of the sights and sounds of spring.
If your loved one used to tend a flower or vegetable garden, he or she may miss springtime planting. Although a large garden may no longer be possible, consider planting a flower or vegetable plant in a patio garden, or even on a windowsill. Herbs are usually easy to grow. Your loved one will enjoy caring for a small garden and watching it thrive.
- Feed the Birds
Install a bird feeder or bird house where your loved one will be able to watch the birds from inside the house. Invite him or her to come outside and help fill the bird feeder regularly. If your loved one likes to make crafts, they may enjoy helping construct a small bird feeder. A simple DIY bird feeder can be made from a pint milk container: cut a hole in the front, design the outside however you like, attach a string to the top, fill it with bird seed, and hang it up outside.
- Attend Outdoor Concerts
Many communities offer spring and summer outdoor concerts. Take your loved one to enjoy the music and fresh air. This will also provide a good opportunity for him or her to socialize with other members of the community.
- Invite the Kids
If there are children in the family, consider activities in which they can participate as well. Everyone—including your loved one—will enjoy the energy and positivity that kids offer. Some options include flying a kite or going to a playground or nearby beach.
- Pack a Picnic
Whether it’s with a large family group or an outing for two, a picnic is an excellent way of getting fresh air and making your next meal exciting. Find a picnic table that is near a paved path or parking lot. Parks generally offer many options.
- Watch a Game
Did your loved ones enjoy going to baseball games in his or her younger years? Surprise him or her by going to a ballgame this spring. Stadiums are typically wheelchair accessible (though you should check in advance), and you don’t have to commit to seeing the entire game. Enjoy a few innings in the fresh air together. Consider going to a high school game if it will be closer and more manageable. Or if the children in the family play a sport, bring your loved one to watch their competitions.
- Go Fishing
Spring is a great time to catch a fish. For someone with mobility issues, it may not be possible to go out in a boat, but there is always the option of fishing from a pier.
In preparation for spring, it may be wise to assist your loved one in building strength now. If your loved one has been sedentary throughout the winter season, he or she may need to exercise prior to taking a walk outside. Talk to your doctor about exercises than can be done now to prepare. There are many chair exercises available to do indoors now, and these will make a difference.
Spring has definitely arrived, and with it, the characteristic springtime feelings of hope and levity. Enjoy the new season with your loved one by engaging in these uplifting spring activities for the elderly.
(taken from Complete Care Atlanta)