Spring is here, and with it so is the urge to freshen up everything around us. When the flowers outside start blooming, and everything greens up, I feel better! It’s like God is painting the world in bright, fresh new colors and bringing everything back to life! I love this time of year. At home, I open windows, cut flowers from the yard to put around the house, and physically bring outdoors inside as much as possible.
As a Family Caregiver, you can give yourself and those you care for this same fresh newness periodically, and it will make you both feel better! When we do something that makes us look better, we feel better, too. That’s one of those amazing things about being alive. It’s like going to the hairdresser for an updated style or color; we’re the same person when we come out as we were when we went in, but we feel better afterward, even if we only got a trim and blow-out.
It’s vital for you as the Family Caregiver to treat yourself with renewal from time to time, but it’s equally essential for you to pamper those you care for as well. My mother always loved going to get a pedicure in her later years. She couldn’t understand the small Asian man who trimmed her toenails, but he smiled at her the whole time, and she had a wonderful time. Sometimes I walked her in and waited, but if I left her and walked down the sidewalk to my brother’s office, the small man always walked my mother down to me. She felt like a new woman between the outing, the pedicure, and the attention she received. It always brightened my day to see her smile after she got pampered.
Something as simple as putting on a favorite “dress-up” outfit, adding a little lipstick, and fixing a lady’s hair, or taking a gentleman to get a barber-shop shave and trim, could give your loved one a fresh new perspective on life. Adding a cut flower arrangement to the kitchen table, scheduling lunch or coffee with friends, or taking time to go by a favorite place when you are out running errands, can give the whole week a different tone. Don’t forget the camera for pictures if appropriate so that you can enjoy the memories later.
You probably know the person you care for better than anyone, but if you don’t have intimate knowledge of their likes and dislikes, don’t be afraid to ask others who might know them better. Discovering activities they enjoyed in the past can lead to new adventures as you find innovative ways to give them exhilarating experiences that lead to good feelings for you both!