Keeping Your Elderly Loved One Busy, Safe, and Happy Throughout the Winter Months
If the winter months seem dreary and sad, you aren’t alone in this feeling. For many people, this time of year brings a sense of loneliness along with colder days and darker skies. A lack of sunshine and a brisk wind make it all the more likely for elderly individuals, in particular, to experience a touch of depression as inactivity becomes a daily circumstance. Windows remain closed to keep out the cold, but this scenario also shuts out the signs of life from nearby neighbors and pets. If you are looking for ways to keep your elderly loved one engaged in life this winter, keep reading for a few useful ideas.
Incorporate Safety in the Home
As the years go by, people accumulate a lot of stuff. For many seniors, some of these items can make it difficult to navigate the home from one room to another, while also making it harder to find items that aren’t needed on a daily basis. It’s okay to get rid of a few things as long as you get permission first. You might also want to organize loose items on bookshelves, tables, and dressers for ease of use and visibility.
In addition to putting away the clutter, consider whether or not it makes sense to move the furniture to create easier access, particularly if your elderly loved one is using a walker or wheelchair. Another safety issue to consider involves extension cords and electrical wiring. Wherever possible, you should tuck the cords out of pathways while also ensuring they are plugged in properly.
Arrange for Light Housekeeping
Keeping the house neat and clean throughout the winter should only take a couple of hours each week. Plan to do so on one of your weekly visits. If you don’t have the time to come in and pick up the home, you do have the option to hire a senior caregiver in Houston to complete housekeeping tasks for you.
Arrange for Meals
If your loved one qualifies, you can arrange to have free meals brought in each day. If circumstances do not allow for this because someone else lives in the home or income exceeds the established limit, you can pay for meal services from a local senior care organization. Alternatively, if your loved one is still capable of cooking meals, just arrange for healthy food options to be delivered each week.
Invite Family for a Visit
Loneliness is often the greatest risk for senior citizens, particularly during the winter months and holiday season. Sometimes all it takes is a simple reminder and invitation to other family members to get them to stop by for a visit. You could even arrange for an activity that everyone might enjoy such as cookie baking, gingerbread house making, or card playing.
It’s important to keep your elderly loved one busy to encourage physical and mental health, so you might want to look for ways to incorporate exercise into the day. One option is to arrange for a senior companion to come out several times a week to oversee alight exercise routine. Another option is to do so yourself. If time or money make both of these options difficult, you can purchase a DVD offering easy exercise routines for the elderly.
Finding ways to encourage an elderly loved one’s physical and mental health throughout the long winter months might not be easy but it is certainly rewarding. Simply evaluate their circumstances and incorporate new ideas to help keep them safe and happy before and after the holiday season. From spending time with them to buying user-friendly utensils to bringing them home-cooked meals, you have lots of opportunities to accomplish these goals.
Call Assisting Hands Houston for more information.