Is your elderly loved one on bedrest or required to spend several hours at a time in a recliner or stationary chair? When seniors are stuck indoors, there are only so many times they can watch TV or read a book before they feel restless and bored.
However, with some planning and creativity, you can take advantage of a lovely picture window or two that can act as a gateway to the outside world and provide your aging loved one with variety, interest and beauty.
Assess the Room with the Window
The first thing to do is to find the best window. It may be in the bedroom or in a living room or kitchen area. Depending on their circumstances, your loved one may be bedridden or prefer to spend hours in a lounge chair due to difficulty walking. Family members and home care aides can help seniors get comfortable in front of their window each time.
The selected window should be appropriate to the furniture the senior will be resting in. It won’t do any good to have a low bed and a high window because they won’t be able to see anything. Furniture should be placed so that your aging loved one has a nice, clear view out the window, where all the action is. If it isn’t possible for a permanent setup, you can instruct home care aides to make furniture arrangements as part of their daily routine in caring for your aging loved one.
Looking at the View
What goes on outside the window is important. Whether it overlooks a street, sidewalk or backyard is important to maximizing the view for your elderly loved one. Make sure the window is clean on the inside and outside, and repair or replace any damaged screens that might obstruct the view. Trim away any vegetation, like shrubs or vines, which might be interfering with the view as well. Adjust the blinds, curtains or drapes so that they don’t obscure anything and let in as much light as possible.
If the window view is of the street, sidewalk or neighborhood, then the senior has an excellent opportunity to watch people and cars go by. A backyard view should be enhanced to attract as much wildlife as possible, such as birds, squirrels and insects. Potted flowers, bird feeders, lawn décor and more can brighten the view, front or back. Make sure they are changed regularly and match the seasons for year-round observation.
Picture Window Activities for Seniors
While people watching can help pass the time, many seniors want to stay active and engaged while they are home bound. There are several activities that they can do that center around their window observations.
- Birdwatching is a wonderful way to enjoy nature. It only requires bird feeders, binoculars and a field guide to local species.
- Writing poetry, recording thoughts in a journal, copying recipes or writing their personal history are fine ways for seniors to express themselves. The picture window is good for reflection and meditation, or they can make observations about what they see out the window.
- Listening to podcasts can give homebound seniors mental stimulation and they are the ideal auditory accompaniment for a few hours of window observations.
- Keeping the hands busy is a wonderful way to pass the time in front of a picture window, with knitting, crocheting, drawing, coloring, and more.
Just because your elderly loved one needs to spend most of their time indoors doesn’t mean they can enjoy the view from their window. A beautiful and comfortable window arrangement can inspire your loved one to stay active, enjoy nature and feel like part of the neighborhood in a small way.
If you or an aging loved one are considering homecare in Brick, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.