For the elderly who live primarily at home or in an assisted living center, there can be a sense of confinement. We see it as a type of “cabin fever”, when a person is confined to their home for extended periods. They may experience moodiness, irritability, or loneliness. It might be time for planning a “field trip”.
At BeeHive Home Care, our staff across New Mexico offer companion services so that residents can experience fresh air and sunshine in a safe environment. However, senior adults that led very active lives in their earlier years and for many, it’s hard to be at home all the time.
A suggestion we offer for families of any senior adult is to plan field trips to a business they would have visited in their earlier years. It’s likely that a wheelchair will be needed; even if your family member is still mobile, the wheelchair offers a place to rest during an outing that can be physically tiring or even emotionally charged.
For example, a woman who spent years cooking for her family may be thrilled with a trip to a grocery store, just to slowly tour the aisles and see the many products. She may love the beautiful colors of the fresh produce and enjoy the feel of a fuzzy peach or to smell a cantaloupe to see if it’s ripe. A visit may bring you to a conversation about recipes, how she managed to feed a family each day, or challenges she faced.
A trip to a clothing store is a time to feel the fabrics, see the changing styles or patterns in today’s clothing, or to try on a scarf or jewelry item.
For an elderly man, a hardware store is a great place to visit. Tour the tool section and ask him what tools he used, and if any of today’s battery-driven options would have been his choice. Visit the hardware or plumbing section of the store and prompt him for memories of repairing things in the home. If the store has a garden center, he may enjoy seeing the rakes and hoes, fertilizers and seeds, fencing materials and decorative items that are available to today’s homeowners.
A trip like this isn’t about buying things; it’s an opportunity to improve the quality of life for an elderly person who may feel they have nothing to look forward to or who struggles with a loss of independence. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to talk and share memories with a family member.
BeeHive Home Care of New Mexico can provide excellent support and care in your home, however we also understand that it’s important to get outside the home. We offer companion care and can help plan a filed trip for your loved one. As your family member ages, if the need arises for a small, intimate group home for assisted living care, call one of our sister company BeeHive Homes of New Mexico for a tour. We’re also happy to answer questions or to help refer other sources of help to you as you care for an aging parent or family member.