The dark depths of winter are nearly behind us and with the approach of spring in sight, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief. Winter can be particularly tough for older people, and caring for the elderly at home in winter comes with its own set of challenges. But what about spring? Spring is generally seen as a time of new beginnings and fresh starts, which may seem irrelevant for someone in their later years; however, this isn’t the case and there are lots of ways carers can help. Here are 5 tips for looking after the elderly in spring.
1. Enjoy a breath of fresh air
Spending time outside in nature has many proven physical and psychological health benefits. Even if you are caring for adults with disabilities, the new season is a great time to get out there and enjoy all of nature’s loveliness. If you are looking after someone who is a wheelchair user, just 10-minutes around a local park or garden centre is enough to lift their spirits for the rest of the day. If you will be using a wheelchair, make sure that the park is easily accessible and check the weather before you leave. The wildlife at this time of year is particularly enchanting, so why not take a trip to the local pond to feed the ducklings?
2. Prepare for hay fever and allergies
The flu and cold season is over but with the new season comes a new set of health challenges, of which, allergies is one of the most common. For the elderly, allergies are not just an unpleasant inconvenience, they can contribute to sinus infections and colds developing. A doctor’s prescription for antihistamines and other natural remedies can provide relief. As always, it is important to always consult a doctor when introducing new medications to an elderly patient. Many weather forecasts and weather websites now provide allergy predictions as well. If someone is suffering very badly with allergy symptoms, it can be helpful to avoid going outside when the pollen count is particularly high.
3. Dress for all occasions
Springtime weather can be very changeable, one minute it’s sunny and the next minute it’s raining. As well as checking the weather forecast before heading out, it’s good to dress for all occasions. Layering is an easy way to do this and it’s also good to pack a day bag with a raincoat, warm jumper, sunglasses, wide-beamed sun hat and a scarf on-hand at all times. Older people can be more sensitive to UV rays and it is important to always protect their skin and eyes from the sun.
4. Introduce fresh, seasonal produce
A key component of good home care is helping to provide enjoyable and healthy meals. After a winter full of hearty soups and warming stews, spring brings with it a chance for a dietary refresh. With a whole host of seasonal delights like strawberries, asparagus and fresh peas to enjoy, it’s the ideal time to introduce some new meals such as nutritious salads and lightly cooked meals. Fresh juices, brunch-style egg dishes and deserts featuring soft fruits such as seasonal berries are a good option.
5. Make their day with spring blooms
Even if the person you are caring for is not able to go outside very often, there are some simple ways to bring the outside in to help lift their spirits. Potted daffodils and crocuses on a windowsill are an easy way to help someone in their later years still be able to appreciate spring. Planting the bulbs together is a relaxing and enjoyable activity that you can do together and you can buy seasonal bulbs economically.
To learn more about our home care services including elderly health care, please get in touch with us today. We’re happy to help.