After a long winter cooped up indoors, spring can feel like the most wonderful time of the year. As a family caregiver, one of your top priorities for the spring may be helping your senior family go out and enjoy the spring weather. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you and your family prepare to head outside, have fun, and get active this season:
Finding a Fun Outdoor Activity for Spring
Here are a few activities and hobbies perfect for helping the senior in your life head outside, get active, and enjoy all that springtime has to offer:
- Go out into nature
Take a hike, go for a walk or a drive through the neighborhood, plan a visit to a local arboretum or botanical garden, or just stop and smell the roses! However you and your loved one get out into nature, the health and wellness benefits can be enormous.
- Eat outdoors
With warmer temperatures, fresh air all around, and beautiful flowers and greenery in bloom, spring is a great time for al fresco dining. Pack a picnic, share a meal on the patio, or head out to a favorite local restaurant with outdoor seating.
- See a show
During the spring and summer months, many communities start to make outdoor entertainment much more accessible. Many towns hold “movies in the park” events. Elsewhere, lots of theater companies start to take performances outside for the season. Whether you’re seeing a classic play or marveling at fireworks, spring is a great time to see an outdoor show.
Gardening is a fulfilling and rejuvenating activity with plenty of healthy benefits for seniors. This fun and calming pastime can help decrease your risk for heart attack and stroke, increase strength and range of motion, and relieve stress.
- Yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates
Practicing a form of low-impact exercise, like yoga, tai chi, or pilates, can be even more fun when you head outdoors! Whether you join an outdoor class or just head out to your backyard, these exercises are a great way to increase flexibility and balance, reduce stress, and improve your breathing.
If you feel up to it, why don’t you and your senior loved one strap on your helmets and take your bicycles for a spin? Biking can be a great way to get in aerobic exercise, while also strengthening your muscles and improving your balance. At the same time, it’s an excellent way to go outside and experience all the wonderful sights and sounds of spring.
If you’re an avid fisherman, you know how soothing it can be to spend a springtime afternoon by the water. Fishing is a great way to get some sun and fresh air – and, believe it or not, it’s also a great whole-body workout for older adults.
- Bird watching
Whether you’re an avid birder or a first-timer, the springtime is a great opportunity to go outside and look up. Whether in your neighborhood or in a nearby nature preserve, bird watching is a wonderful spring activity, allowing you to learn and make new memories while basking in the beautiful weather.
- Spring cleaning
Plenty of people look forward to spring cleaning every year. For many, the spring is a chance to refresh and renew their space, indoors and out. Cleaning can be a great way to get moving and active, and when you decorate and revamp for spring, you can make the whole home feel like new. That’s a win-win worth cheering for!
- Family gatherings
The spring season is a wonderful time to come together with family. Many families hold their annual reunions in the springtime, when many people take advantage of the nice weather to travel for a much-needed spring break.
Don’t Forget About Safety
The spring season is a wonderful time for getting out and getting active – but it’s also important to remember to help your elderly family stay healthy and safe while they enjoy all their favorite springtime activities.
Here are a few key things to keep in mind that can help the senior in your life really make the most of spring, while giving caregivers back some much-needed peace of mind:
- Watch out during allergy season
For many people, the spring weather is a blessing and a curse. With the warm weather and spring air comes sneezing, sniffling, and red eyes, caused by seasonal allergies. If your senior loved one struggles with allergies, take care to help them enjoy the spring season, worry-free. Monitor pollen levels, and avoid going outside on particularly allergen-heavy days. Help your loved one keep up with any allergy medicine they may take. Try to minimize the amount of allergens that travel on skin and clothes by regularly washing your hands, and avoid “hang drying” your laundry outdoors.
- Remember your sun protection
After a gloomy winter, it can feel rejuvenating to get out and soak in some sun. In fact, vitamin D – which comes from sunlight – is incredibly important for your health. At the same time, remember to take precautions when going out on sunny days. A little sunshine is a good thing, but too much can cause problems, ranging from sunburn to trouble seeing properly. During the spring, make sure your senior loved one goes outside equipped with a shady hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
- Dress for the weather
Temperatures and weather conditions can change wildly over the course of a spring day. The weather can go from chilly to balmy, or dry to rainy, in the blink of an eye. Make sure your senior loved one is always dressed appropriately. During the spring, it helps to dress in layers, so your loved one can adjust their outfit to match the changing temperatures. Make sure seniors are also wearing the appropriate footwear for their spring activity of choice, so that they can stay comfortable and avoid slips and falls.
- Stay hydrated!
Make sure your senior loved one drinks plenty of water and stays hydrated when they go out and enjoy the spring weather. Dehydration can lead to serious health problems, including fatigue, headaches, and physical pain. Drink water regularly and proactively – don’t wait for sweat or excessive thirst to show up.
About Companions for Seniors
Looking for help giving your senior loved one the personalized support and attention they really need to make the most of spring? Have any questions about helping your loved one stay safe and healthy while remaining independent? We’re here to help.
At Companions for Seniors, our mission is to help seniors live independently and with dignity in the comfort of their own home by empowering them to lead an active and enriched lifestyle, connecting them with their community, and nurturing meaningful relationships.
Our companions are trained, bonded, and insured, and can help provide a variety of services designed to help your loved one remain in the comfort of their own home, including assistance with housekeeping, activities of daily living, driving, and more.
If you have any questions about helping your parents thrive while they age in place, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to get the conversation started. We’re here to offer guidance and provide support, in whatever way we can!