Autumn - A Time of Comfort for your Elder
By Kathy Green
How many of us, if asked, would reply that the Fall is our favorite season of the year. Certainly for those of us that have distinct seasonal changes, all our senses are stimulated in such gentle and satisfying ways.
It provides so many wonderful opportunities for families and caregivers of the elderly to enrich their lives.
Depending on their mobility, think of a walk in the local park with the stunning blaze of red, orange and yellow leaves and the crisp sound of rustling of leaves at their feet. And the air- cooler possibly, but decidedly fresher with a distinct fragrance. All of this input brings pleasure and familiarity, stimulating fond memories of Autumns gone by.
If not mobile, take your elder for a walk outside in their wheelchair or for a ride in the car- all variations of this outing can bring the same pleasure.
One of the loveliest ways to bring a smile to the face of your elder is to ask them about their fondest memories of Fall or Thanksgiving. Some have more than others, but most are willing to share. This story- telling is so valuable for the teller and for the listener. Little snippets of times gone by but memories still valued by your elder. Special dinners, the perennial leaf collection for school, new fall outfits, trips to get a pumpkin…and the list goes on.
Sometimes these fond memories involve the sense of smell- apple or pumpkin pie, turkey and cranberry or the yearly Autumn favourite, spiced apple cider. If your elder enjoys these Fall foods and/or is still able to help in the kitchen, serve up these dishes and enjoy them together.
What an abundant season for enjoying in so many ways! Include your elder in all the Fall traditions and activities- it is easier to leave them at home, but it is well worth the effort to include them.