Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring is Coming

It's that time of the year to be thinking ahead to all the spring and summer outings and outdoor activities for your residents. This can be exciting, especially if you and your residents have that cooped up cabin fever type feeling and can't wait to get outside. Even taking a nice drive around the countryside--if you are anywhere near countryside, that is--can be really enjoyable and lift spirits. Those days when the sun is shining, and if your facility allows for activity changes, scrub those indoor afternoon activities and take the residents for a ride. Are you stuck in the city? Drive past a few gas stations. That should get your residents talking! That can spark a conversation about how prices on everything has changed since they were young. Drive through the lanes at a local shopping mall to see what kinds of stores there are. Start up a conversation about how limited shopping was in their day versus what all is available today.
Just from seeing my own reaction to getting out on Monday and then again yesterday tells me we have all but shut up inside too long this winter. Spring might not be here just yet, but it is just around the corner.
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What other spring activities are you thinking about for this year? Bird watching is a good possibility if you have some trees around. Do some of your residents have bird feeders outside their windows? What about on these days as the sun begins warming things up, taking your residents for a stroll outside to see if you can see any signs of spring...like robins...or crocus' popping their tiny heads out of the ground. What other signs of spring can you find? Ask your residents what they did to get ready for spring. Did they have vegetable gardens that needed worked up to get ready to plant? What kinds of flowers did they have around their homes? What did the men do when spring was approaching? Were they farmers? Were they laborers in the city?
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Will your facility have an outside flower or vegetable garden that the residents can participate with the gardening? Whether it is a wheelchair garden outside, big clay pots outside, hanging baskets of flowers, or simple flower pots inside, it is time to go get some seeds. If you haven't done it already, how about setting up a "garden committee" of residents to plan what they want to see planted this year. Then, either go pick up the seeds yourself, or have an outing where some of the residents can go along to help. You might need potting soil, flower pots, hanging baskets, gardening hand tools, and other items on the list. This is a sure way to bring a little springtime indoors while you wait to get outdoors.
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Now it's your turn. What ideas would you like to share for the spring? Do you have special parties planned? Special springtime entertainment? How about your regular sing along? Do you or your residents know any springtime songs they can sing? Spring is a wonderful time for trivia and reminiscing activities. What kinds of topics do your residents enjoy talking about?

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