Aging Parents Spring CleaningSpring is about renewal and hope. Freshening your environment can breathe new life and energy into your living space and your mood!  Here are eight practical, budget-friendly tips to try yourself, or with an aging friend or family member.

Plant some flowers or herbs.  Read some of our previous blog posts with helpful suggestions on how to get started.  If you’re not up to planting, just pick up a ready-made flowering plant in a brightly colored pot (I spotted these starting at $5).  Placed by a bedside or on your veranda, it’s an immediate pick-me-up!

Try a new recipe.  The produce section is looking brighter and brighter as the weather warms.  Shopping at a local farmer’s market can be as much about the experience as what you are purchasing, and you can limit it to a few items if the prices are higher than you want to pay.  A veggie or fruit salad sprinkled with herbs is a delight when all of the ingredients are as fresh as possible.  Not up to the market? Choose something different at your local grocery store to excite your taste buds!

Open your windows.  Clear clutter from windowsills and push back curtains.  As much as your seasonal allergies can tolerate, it is lovely to hear the sounds of birds chirping, lawnmowers running and all of the outside activities that pick up as the weather warms.

Take a walk.  Walking is great for you mentally and physically.  Speak with your doctor, outline a plan that’s right for you, and get started.  Don’t let inconsistent spring weather dampen your enthusiasm, either.  Choose an indoor space for cool, rainy days, because variety can prevent boredom too.  Building a new friendship with a walking buddy is also a win-win for your mental and physical health.

Sit outside.  Create a cozy space for yourself where you can sit (and rise from your chair) comfortably and safely.  Enjoy a cup of tea and write notes to your grandchildren or other family and friends on some pretty stationery.

Buy a bright top or scarf.  A fresh, spring color worn around your face will brighten and flatter your complexion.  Warning: be prepared for a lot of compliments!

Choose one space, and improve it.  Don’t overwhelm yourself, keep it simple.  Open your closet, stand back and think about how you can improve its function and appearance.  Can you use a shoe hanger?  Is it time to get rid of some unworn clothes?  Your entry way is another space that can be analyzed and organized to be as uncluttered and useful as possible.  When you choose one small space at a time, it can be fun, instead of feeling like a chore.

Buy a frame, and put a fun picture in it.  Your adult son/daughter can make a print for you for less than a dollar.  If your frame is colorful, consider a black and white picture.  Then, you can replace the picture every so often to freshen this accessory.  Keep the older pictures behind the new one.  Every time you switch pictures you’ll smile at the older one; if your grandchild is featured you’ll marvel at how much they’ve grown!

Spring cleaning sure sounds more appealing when you think of it like this. Why not freshen your understanding of home care, too? Staying safe and independent at home is what Cooperative Home Care can do for you.  Call 1-800-HOMECARE (in MO) or 1-618-HOMECARE (in IL) and Jessica will get you started, today!

Editor’s Note: this post originally appeared in the spring 2013 edition of Cooperative’s “Health at Home by Cooperative Home Care” newsletter.

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