April is finally here – the days are getting longer, the leaves are filling in the trees, and the whole earth seems to be waking up from winter. Spring is a time of regeneration. We naturally feel it in our bodies to apply this regeneration to ourselves too – people start to clean or even renovate their homes, and the sidewalks begin to fill with seemingly twice as many runners and walkers as a few months ago. ‘Spring cleaning’ doesn’t mean just scrubbing the impossible-to-reach corners of your kitchen. Spring cleaning is for all aspects of your life, and if you’ve had changes to your family in the last year, such as an elderly parent going into care or developing a health condition, then take this year’s spring clean seriously:
- The house: What a huge task this can be! If you have a senior loved one living at home, not only will actually deep-cleaning the house be a big aid to someone who potentially has mobility issues, but the process of de-cluttering will make their house easier to manage and even prevent trips and falls, with less ‘stuff’ around.
Now is also a great time to ensure the house is safe for any mobility issues that exist or may start to develop as your senior loved one’s condition deteriorates. Looking at heights of things, items that can be tripped on, and ease of use in the shower and bathroom.
- Body: A ‘spring cleanse’ sounds slightly trendy, but it’s actually a great time to re-check your diet and clear out any bad habits you developed over the cold winter months. Try a week without sugar, alcohol, caffeine, or processed foods, to get your nutrition back on track.
If you aren’t already exercising 5 days a week, now that the days are longer it’s a great time to start that up again! Try walking, or looking for local aerobic classes for seniors.
- Legal and financial: If you are like many families, you left this part to the last possible moment, when your senior loved one had already gone into care. If you’ve been avoiding looking at wills, power of attorney, and savings plans to pay for care, now is the time to stop procrastinating and take in this very crucial step. You’ll be glad you did.
- Mind and soul: Are you coping? When a loved one begins to lose their health and requires care, it can be emotionally unsettling – and there’s nothing wrong with admitting that. In fact, this is a great time to check in with yourself and your family to see how you’re really coping. Stress, anxiety, depression, and sadness are all normal emotions to feel at this time, but you need to face them and manage them.
Looks like we’ve got lots to do for April, so we’d better get going!