Aging Parents and Spring’s Little Things That Can Mean a Lot–2013 update

The first day of Spring, March 20th, the vernal equinox–
Vernal Equinox

 Eight Ideas For Spring and Aging Parents

1.  Ask older people who live in one of the 47 states that go on Daylight Savings Time if they’d like help checking that all clocks that should have been set ahead indeed were; offer to set them if appropriate–especially digital clocks and clocks that require ladders to reach the mechanisms (eg. a clock up on a wall in an old kitchen).

Red Kalanchoe, green container, ivy2.  In states with  bad winters, spring brings thoughts of gardening, presenting opportunities for thoughtful inexpensive gifts: a long-lasting, low maintenance flowering indoor/outdoor plant (eg. kalanchoe at left for a touch of spring; or a flowering, easy-care indoor plant that blooms year round, such as Oxallis (Lucky Shamrock) below, available at Trader Joe’s and no doubt everywhere because of  St.Patrick’s Day.

3. In states with warmer climates, seniors who still garden will no doubt appreciate a new pair of good gardening gloves and perhaps knee pads. Could they use help cleaning up the yard or flower beds (send a capable grandchild to help)? Aging joints and bones make gardening more difficult as one ages Aren’t good gloves, knee pads, and doing something together with children and grandchildren great, thoughtful gifts?

4.  Aging parents who don’t get out much should enjoy the entertainment that a bird feeder (using bird or thistle seeds) brings,  if there’s a place to install or hang it near a window. Bird watching is addictive–as long as someone can refill the feeder. (In warmer weather, when nature provides seeds, neglecting to fill a bird feeder is less crucial than in winter; yet a full feeder insures the birds will be at window level for bird watching.)

5.  More sun and warmer days make getting out easier.  The Philadelphia Flower Show (link to short video of the 2013 highlight–Beatles et. al British– and to the “teaser video” for 2014’s Flower Show “Articulture.” Philadelphia’s Flower Show begins the first weekend in March and ends Sunday of the second weekend. A thought for next year perhaps. New York Botanical Garden’s 2013 Orchid Show continues through April 22nd. There’s a parking lot for handicap-designated cars. The Conservatory is a bit of a walk, but on a nice day wheel chairs make access easy.

6. Flower shows seem to be very popular with older people (many older men and women at the Orchid Show and Philadelphia Flower Show). Happily regional events abound. Examples:
http://www.ncazaleafestival.org/ (N.C);
http://www.sfgardenshow.com/ (in San Mateo, Calif.);  http://www.yankeemagazine.com/issues/2012-03/interact/10things/best-spring-flower-festivals (This issue lists spring shows in New England. Although a year old, it’s the most current and has phone numbers to double-check this year’s dates)
Also check local papers for big events as well as the small garden clubs’ flower shows.

7. Sports fans think “baseball” in Spring (but of course there are other sports). A game–be it major or minor league or grandchildrens’ games–is a fun outing in nice weather.  Busy moms and dads often get to the last innings of a baseball game, even if they can’t make the beginning.  This may be a perfect time-frame for aging parents who tire easily.

8.  Unusual entertainment: if you read this blog on March 20th, you know it’s the vernal equinox. At a certain point day and night are equal in length. The thought is that due to gravity forces a raw egg can stand straight up! There’s an “expert” who says you can stand a raw egg up any day of the year– I failed the “any day of the year attempt.”  If you want to try and entertain an aging parent or school-age children, this video might help!

Here’s 3/20/11’s s success with the egg
Vernal Equinox

Happy Spring

Note: Click photos to enlarge

Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities and respected professionals, plus practical information–to help parents age well.
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Aging Parents, Happiness, and Spring’s Little Things That Can Mean a Lot—See update 3/24/13

Help Older People Age Well in Spring: 6 Ideas

The first day of Spring, tomorrow March 20th, the vernal equinox–inspires idea #6.

BE SURE TO see 2013 update

1.  A big help, especially for older people who live in one of the 47 states that go on Daylight Savings Time and find technology difficult: checking that all clocks were set ahead last weekend and if not, offering to set them. Ditto for those clocks (ie. a clock up on a wall in the kitchen) that require ladders to reach the mechanisms.

2.  Especially in states that have bad winters, spring brings thoughts of nature, and gardening, and opportunities for thoughtful acts that bring happiness to older people.  Ideas: gifting a new pair of gardening gloves, seed packets, a flowering outdoor plant (primrose perhaps) for a temporary indoor touch of spring; or a flowering indoor plant that blooms year-round such as  Oxalis (Lucky Shamrock).  It’s in stores now, popular around St. Patrick’s day.  What about gifting a bird feeder or bag of bird or thistle seeds in climates where bird feeding continues for a while; or helping to clean up the yard and flower beds (or sending a grandchild to help)? Gardening help may be a big job, but doing something together with children and grandchildren is a gift in itself for aging parents.

3.  More sun and warmer days make getting out easier.  The Philadelphia Flower Show ended last weekend, but the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show continues through April 25th. Friends said it’s the most beautiful ever. I agree. A large parking lot is set aside for handicap-stickered cars. The Conservatory is a bit of a walk, but on a nice day wheel chairs make access easy (didn’t see any walkers). Check out Orchid show link above.

4.  While flower shows seem to be more popular with older people (many older men and women at the Orchid Show and Philadelphia Flower Show), regional events, that include flower shows, are another option for aging/older parents. Examples: http://www.ncazaleafestival.org/ (N.C);  http://www.sfgardenshow.com/ (in San Mateo, Calif.);  http://www.yankeemagazine.com/issues/2011-03/features/spring-festivals/all (“everything” coming up in New England, courtesy Yankee magazine). Check local papers for big events as well as the small garden clubs’ flower shows.

5.  Spring brings the beginning of baseball season.  Taking aging parents to a game–be it major or minor league or grandchildrens’ games–is a wonderful outing in nice weather, especially for baseball fans.  Busy mothers and fathers often try to get to the last innings of a game, even if they can’t make the beginning.  This may be a perfect time-frame for aging parents who tire easily.

6.  Unusual entertainment: if you read this blog by–or on–March 20th, the vernal equinox–the first day of spring, at around 7:21 pm EDT day and night are about equal in length. Due to gravity forces you should be able to make an uncooked egg stand straight up!

And that’s our last idea for “Spring’s Little Things.” They help parents age well by adding something fun, thoughtful, enriching, different–that brings happiness to their lives.

Tomorrow I hope to have an egg-standing-on-end photo right here!  And here it is—3/20/11