Spring is almost here.
Given the wet, cold winters we have in the Pacific Northwest, it’s common for the elderly — for all people, really — to hibernate through the winter, staying inside where it’s warm and dry.
For the elderly, staying at home through the colder months can mean being isolated from friends and family. Social isolation is unhealthy; in fact, it’s a risk factor for depression among older adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
To be honest, sitting at home alone for too long can lead to negative consequences for both mind and body. Maybe your loved ones are stewing over the idea that “my kids never come see me.” Perhaps they overthink about aches and pains. The New York Times even recently reported that loneliness may be a preclinical sign for Alzheimer’s disease. And not only that, isolation also may be linked to decreasing ability to care for oneself. Consider this statement:
“Among older people who reported they felt left out, isolated or lacked companionship, the ability to perform daily activities like bathing, grooming and preparing meals declined and deaths increased over a six-year study period relative to people who reported none of these feelings.”
Who needs that? Instead, let’s let the spring sun melt away your loved one’s winter doldrums. Encourage them to get up, get out and have some fun this spring.
With the warming weather, there’s never been a better time to encourage your elderly loved ones to get out of the house and out into the world. Take them for a walk through Whatcom County’s gorgeous scenery — maybe to Hovander Homestead Park or along the Bay to Baker trail into downtown Everson. Help them run errands to Haggen or Hoagland’s. Take them to see a movie at the Pickford or to reminisce about rotary telephones at SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention. Whatcom County is packed with fun things to see and do!
If you need any assistance getting your loved one out and about — or even encouraging them to leave the house — please feel free to give Take My Hand At Home Care a call. Our licensed and qualified nurses are experts in caring for the elderly throughout Whatcom County, and we’d be happy to help.