Avid gardeners are hoping that area garden stores open earlier than they normally do. Bicyclists have quickly scheduled a tune-up for their bike so they can get on the road. Golfers cope with mud and hit the links anyway. Higher than normal temperatures all March have many of us thinking that summer will not wait until June to make an entrance. Unfortunately, for some seniors realization that “lawn mowing season” has started before baseball’s opening day is not welcome.
Our mild winter perhaps, made taking care of their home easier the last few months. The change of season brings another wave of realization that staying in the house they love comes with a price. The decision to move is complicated, emotional, and will happen when either the time is right or a sudden change in health forces the issue. Until then, many seniors will stay living in their home relying on help from family, neighbors and friends.
It is easier for many of us to think about checking in on older adults we know who are living alone, when weather is extreme. After a snowfall, we may shovel a neighbor’s driveway. When temperatures hover in the 90s, we respond to suggestions from public health officials to check in on the elderly.
Spring has its own challenges for the homeowner and this year it is starting early. Here is a list of spring tasks that can be overwhelming for a senior with some physical challenges. Some seniors enjoy being outside and getting some exercise and are able to pace themselves. It never hurts to ask if you can lend a hand.
Picking up fallen branches. For someone with a wooded lot, this can take a lot of bending and carrying. Great exercise but not easy for everyone.
Cleaning the gutters. Whether to avoid paying for the service or out of desire to prove they can do it, many seniors put themselves at risk of falling to do this.
Mowing the lawn. Having to mow the grass earlier that expected can mean firing up the mower and learning it won’t. Help getting the lawnmower in for repair would be appreciated as would doing that first cut.
Cleaning garden beds. Clearing winter debris and spreading mulch is a rite of spring. Everyone wants to enjoy seeing spring bulbs.
Helping out an older adult for a few hours this spring could make a world of difference to them. Spending time together also offers an opportunity to assess how they are doing living on their own. It could also open the door to an honest conversation about their living situation.