"No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow." -English Proverb
"Daylight saving time isn't a big deal," said anyone without children, a job, a family, pets or a general love for being well-rested.
This Sunday, March 13, we'll lose an hour of sleep to this irrational occasion. And honestly, being tired isn't even the worst of it. No matter how many Daylight Savings Times we survive, resetting the clocks on our microwaves is an actual nightmare. And for that, there's no forgiving you daylight saving – you are unbearable!
Putting our feelings aside, come Monday, you're gonna move with the speed of a tortoise stuck in the mud. It won't be fun, but it doesn't have to be the worst day ever. And even though it doesn't look like it outside, or will feel like it this weekend, Spring is on its way. In this long-awaited season of new beginnings, take time to stop and smell the roses. Take time to bask in the warmth of the sun, and as always, take time to be kinder to one another.
About four or five days before the big day – try getting to bed a little earlier. This will help ease your body into the time change.Airplane Mode
When bedtime approaches, turn off each and every device you own. In fact, keep your phone more than an arm's length away.Skip the Nap
Naps are life. But at this time of year, they are your enemy. Do your best to avoid that glorious, mid-afternoon nap. Your body will thank you in the long run.Consistency is Everything
Wake up at the same time each morning, especially on the weekends! Sleeping in might seem like the right approach – but you're playing a dangerous game for the remainder of the week.Enjoy the Sunlight
Daylight saving time is the worst, but it also means that spring is on its way. So enjoy those extra hours by getting outside, going for a walk, hanging with the fam, and living life.
Bye-bye, winter! Hello, springtime sun and cheery weather! After the long, cold months have melted away and we’ve sprung forward into a new season, many of us are already thinking of ways to get out, enjoy the nicer weather and shake off the winter blues. Most of us have some form of cabin fever once spring arrives, and we’re ready to try something new and get ourselves revitalized for spring. Spring is the perfect time for seniors of all ages to put some pep in their step and put plans into place that will have them living a happy, healthy and fulfilled springtime season – and beyond.
Getting outside after having been cooped up for months provides numerous benefits, not the least of which is getting more exercise. It’s really easy to fall into an exercise slump during the winter months because it’s cold and harder to get outside. However, staying active is so important for us as we age – it’s one of the best things we can do to keep our bodies in shape and our abilities in top form so that we can continue to do the things we love. That’s perhaps my favorite part about spring – there are so many ways to get outside and get some exercise, whether that’s gardening or simply strolling along the block to see all the trees in bloom.
If you or your senior loved one are looking for ways to leap forward into spring and start enjoying everything the season has to offer, why not try a few of these activities?
Put your green thumb to work. You’ve probably already seen the first signs of spring appearing … the soft green of growing grass, budding bulbs like tulips and daffodils and crocuses and (ugh) the sprouting of this year’s first crop of weeds. Once you start to notice the ground warming up and plants beginning to wake, it’s time to grab your gardening gloves and get your flower beds ready for the warmer months. Gardening is a hugely popular activity for all ages, but especially for seniors, because it provides a variety of flexibility and dexterity opportunities as well as low-impact exercise. Weeding, planting seedlings and tending throughout the season will provide a chance to stretch those muscles, as well as soak up some well-needed Vitamin D – just be sure to wear sunscreen or a big floppy hat to avoid sunburns.
Grab your binoculars. Birdwatching is yet another popular activity for seniors, and it’s particularly fun to do in the spring. You’ll be able to catch sight of migratory birds flocking to their nesting grounds, watch area species court for mates and nurture a clutch of babies, and get some fresh air while you’re doing it. If you’re an active senior, you can head out to a nature center or wildlife refuge to see birds in their natural habitat. Even people who may have mobility issues can get in on the fun by putting up bird feeders and seeing how many winged friends they can attract.
Lace on your walking shoes. Stretching your legs and taking a brisk walk are a great way to get fresh air and fresh sights. Walking clubs are becoming more and more popular throughout the country, whether it’s a neighborhood group or a small group of senior friends … so plan to put on those shoes and meet up with a few friends at a local park once we’re cleared from social distancing! Studies show that seniors who walk on a regular basis are 28 percent less likely to become disabled, so if you’ve been looking for ways to get a little extra exercise this spring, a brisk stroll is a fantastic way to make that happen. Shoot for small victories if you aren’t as active as you’d like – even a morning or evening walk around the block can help you reap big health benefits. Start small with 10- to 15-minute walks, and then increase your time and pace as your loved one’s body allows.
Pack a picnic. Doesn’t a picnic lunch in the park sound great? Although spring can be a bit chilly for most of us in the northern hemisphere, there are plenty of beautiful days when grabbing some sandwiches and heading to the park makes a perfect afternoon outing. Check the weather to see what the forecast will be for the day or the week and make plans to head for your favorite outdoor spot when the weather seems amenable. While social distancing is still in place, you can simply ‘pack’ a picnic and have it in the comfort of your own backyard for a little change of scenery – and fun!
Do a little spring cleaning. Cleaning? What does cleaning have to do with a list of fun springtime activities? As it turns out, it’s very appropriate – a good spring clean gets your blood pumping and helps you get your home and lifestyle in order for the upcoming spring months. Besides tackling dust, cobwebs and dirt, there are plenty of other beneficial things you can do during a spring clean, like going through your possessions and downsizing – if you’re a senior, this can be a good incentive to pack up and get ready for a move to a senior living community. Be sure to gauge your abilities appropriately – don’t try and bite off more than you can chew by tackling your entire home over a weekend. Start small and take manageable, bite-sized chunks. Doing a little bit each time will help you be more successful without becoming overwhelmed.
Try something new. Spring just naturally brings new things, so if you’ve been wanting to try your hand at a new hobby or look for new opportunities, there’s no better time of the year to make that happen. You can look online for senior-friendly hobbies and activities and determine what might pique your loved one’s interest.
The most important thing to remember when shaking off the winter blues is to pick something you and your loved one will enjoy – and then go after it. Anything that gets you excited and interested is fair game. Take a look around, and you may soon find you’ll need help narrowing down your options. Enjoy – and happy spring!
With spring and warmer weather knocking at the door, you’ll want to be free to engage in all the outdoor fun. That’s why, when daylight saving time begins March 14, it’s also the perfect time to complete these eight, often neglected household tasks. It’s easy to get caught up in daily life and neglect chores that only need to be done occasionally. However, before you know it, you could have several layers of dust, grime, and grease on those air vents and appliances.
Below are eight such tasks, and the start of daylight saving time is the perfect opportunity to perform them each year.
Flip and Rotate Your Mattress
Flipping and/or rotating your mattress every six months or so ensures it will last longer because you’re evening out its wear. Flipping literally means you turn the mattress over. To rotate it, you turn it 180 degrees.
Both actions help maintain the firmness and will even out any indentations that occur when someone sleeps on the same side of the bed all the time. It can also prevent the steel coils from wearing out prematurely and causing sagging.
Unfortunately, not all mattresses are dual-sided and, therefore, flippable. Just be sure to check the manufacturer’s note before you perform this task. If all is well, happy flipping!
Check Smoke Detectors
If you live in a residential building, chances are maintenance comes and checks your smoke detectors every six months or so. They’ll make sure they’re working properly and that the batteries still have juice.
However, if you own your own home, you’ll have to take care of this yourself. Daylight Savings Time, in both the spring and autumn, is the perfect reminder to perform this task.
Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper method of testing your smoke detectors, as different brands might have different ways of doing so. Don’t forget to alert anyone who lives with you, as well as your neighbors, that you’re about to do this. After all, you don’t want the high-pitched alarm to startle anyone or make them think there’s a real fire.
Replace Water Filters
Another tedious task that’s important to remember is replacing the water filter on your faucet and/or shower. Filters capture the impurities that build up over time, so replacing them is necessary to maintain good water flow and pressure. Although it’s usually recommended to change your filter every six months, the frequency actually depends on how hard your water is. Use the manufacturer’s recommendations as a guide and adjust the instructions as needed for your water.
Clean the Oven, Dishwasher, and Washing Machine
Something pretty much no one ever remembers to do is cleaning the oven. This is also one that should be on your twice-a-year to-do list, especially if you use it on the regular. Ovens can easily accumulate lots of leftover foods and grease that can change the flavor of your meals, and cause smoke. It can even be harmful to your health when these caked-on pieces of food are cooked over and over whenever you use the oven. Baking soda is a fantastic cleansing agent to use on your oven. Just mix it with a bit of water to make a paste, then spread it evenly inside the oven. Let the mixture sit for 10-12 hours or overnight so it can absorb all the grease. Afterward, spray it with some white vinegar, and then wipe it down with a damp cloth.
Many ovens have a self-cleaning option, and all you have to do is press a button or two to activate it. If yours has this feature, just follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Cleaning dishwashers and washing machines is another task that’s often overlooked because, after all, their entire function is to clean dishes and clothes. Still, detergent buildup is a problem in both machines.
Grease and fabric fuzz can accumulate and clog filters, lowering their efficiency at washing your dishes and clothes. Check the user’s manual for both machines to see what the recommended cleaning procedure is.
You can find many recommendations online that involve baking soda and/or vinegar, but modern appliances are far more sophisticated than those of the past. Many could be more sensitive to certain substances and could be damaged if you use the wrong cleaning agent.
Dust Ceiling Fans and Air Vents
Unless you live in a warm climate, you most likely don’t use your ceiling fans as much in the winter. This means they’ve probably accumulated a ton of dust on those blades. You’ll want to clean all of that off before you turn them on again and send those particles of dust flying all over your home.
A few swipes with a feather duster or a dry rag will do the trick. If you want to do a more thorough clean, good old soap and water works. The same goes for your air vents. In fact, they’re known to accumulate a lot of dust whether you use them or not. Simply grab a duster and wipe them off, or you can use a narrow vacuum cleaner attachment to suck up all that dust and dirt.
Clean Out the Gutters
If you own your home, you’ll definitely want to clean out the gutters. During fall and winter, lots of leaves and dirt tend to accumulate in gutters and can even block them. It might be tempting to clean them from the roof, but for safety, it’s best to avoid that. Instead, use a ladder with a stand-off stabilizer.
Scoop out any leaves and sediment all the way around the roof. Then, use the garden hose to flush out any remained gunk. Start at the end opposite the downspout, and let the hose run for a full minute so you can make sure there aren’t any clogs.
Discard Expired Food
Cleaning out your cabinets, pantry, and fridge is another good task to perform in spring. You might be surprised how many things you find that are long past their expiration date. This is simply because we rarely check them.
Take this opportunity to do just that, then actually clean your refrigerator with some soap and water. Wipe down your cabinets or pantry after you discard any outdated items. This is also a good time to take an inventory and make a list of anything you need to replace next time you’re at the store.
Tackling larger household tasks can be a drag. That’s why, sometimes, a full year or more can go by before you realize you’ve neglected them. Let Daylight Savings Time be the perfect reminder for these 8 tasks and stay prepared for March 13th.
Regular home safety check-ups keep seniors safe
Spring is a great time to take a fresh look at your older adult’s home to make sure it’s as safe as possible. Hazards add up over time and increase the risk of falls or accidents – a top reason for seniors to lose mobility or decline in health. Regular home safety check-ups reduce fall risk and help them stay as independent as possible. Use this checklist to help you notice things around the house, fix safety issues, and take notes if larger repairs are needed.
Outside the house