Keeping your parent’s mind active and engaged should be an important part of your care efforts for them. Regular stimulation of their mind will keep it stronger and sharper, helping them to maintain better memory skills, cognitive processing, and judgment, and reduce the decline of cognitive functioning. There are many ways that you can do this, but when the spring weather sets in, one fantastic way for both of you to enjoy mental stimulation together is bird-watching. The spring season is when the birds get particularly active, making watching them a fun, exciting, and constantly changing activity that you can adapt to your parent’s abilities and interests.
Use these tips to enjoy stimulating your parent’s mind through bird-watching:
- Add a birdfeeder to your parent’s lawn to lure these feathered friends closer. Make sure that it is positioned so that it is easily visible from a window or porch.
- Observe each of the birds that come to the lawn and do research to try to identify them. Learn more about each of these birds and adapt the way that your parent welcomes them into the lawn to make it more appealing, such as using different types of feed and creating areas where they might want to nest.
- Enjoy creating items together that you can use to help the birds. Birds need a tremendous amount of energy in cool weather and when they are nesting and raising babies. Suet cakes are easy to make and provide this energy for them. A birdhouse or nesting roost can be great for a senior who is handy and likes woodworking.
- Invest in a pair of binoculars to make observing the birds more closely easier.
If your parent has been struggling with needs that you do not feel that you can meet efficiently, your own challenges and limitations have increased and your ability to care for your parent has changed, or you simply feel that they would benefit from a wider, more diversified care team, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your parent to fill care gaps, manage care tasks that are too difficult for you or that are not comfortable for you or for your parent for you to handle, and help them to pursue a lifestyle that is as independent and fulfilling as possible as they age in place. This can ease your stress, support your own health and well-being, and help to keep your relationship with your senior meaningful and beneficial throughout their later years.