Spring is Here!

edenton garden potting plants“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ― Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg

Shrug off winter and get outside! Spring has arrived in Maryland.

Over the past week, it has been wonderful to see so many Edenton residents and staff members outdoors enjoying the warmer weather and sunshine. Getting outdoors is important for people of all ages. Our seniors may not be basking in the sun on a beach for Spring Break, but I’ve seen quite a few residents with their pant legs rolled up getting their dose of vitamin D.

Edenton’s residents are outside a lot. Our campus is walkable, making it easy and safe to get outdoors to exercise and enjoy nature. The porches, patios and gazebo on campus are accessible and available to residents, staff and families. Bring a cup of coffee and meander to one of the outdoor seating areas to relax, chat or play a game.

Some may need help and encouragement to get outdoors. Here are a few things you can do to encourage seniors to get out and enjoy spring.

Hang a bird feeder outside. The dynamic interactions that birds, and maybe even a squirrel or two, have outside eating seed from the feeder can be quite entertaining. You can watch what happens at the bird feeder from inside or outside, making it ideal for people with limited mobility or health concerns.

Bird feeders also work well outside independent living apartment windows and assisted living facilities.Place a backyard bird guidebook with a pen and note pad by the window and document the bird species that visit the feeder. Take this one step further by participating in the Cornell Lab feeder watch project. Plus, you can track when certain birds are due to arrive in the region during spring and fall migration and watch for them. Frederick will soon see hummingbirds and warblers return!

Patio or raised container gardening. Many seniors who planted vegetable and flower gardens in the past still love to garden. It’s easy to adapt the gardening activity to accommodate the senior’s ability. Just a few pots of flowers and a patio tomato plant add color and interest to the front porch. The pots are easy to maintain and caring for them is a reason to get outside every day.Plus, there’s nothing like the taste of a vine-ripened tomato you grew yourself!

We maintain several raised beds and containers for residents to use on campus. Our restaurant manager, Jane, takes pride in caring for the planter boxes outside the restaurant every year. Orchard Terrace residents have already planted radish seeds. And, our Blossom Place residents met with a volunteer master gardener who is working to enhance their rear courtyard with native plants and flowers.

Go for a walk. Walking can boost your heart rate. And, this low-impact activity gets you outdoors, too. Around Edenton’s loop four times is one mile. While not everyone is out walking to get their steps in, it’s an easy way no matter how far you go to get some exercise. For those who rely on a scooter or a wheelchair to see the outdoors, join the walkers and take in the seasonal blooms.

Edenton’s Life Enrichment team in assisted living helps residents get outside, too. In fact, the nice weather this week saw staff outside with residents on several days. Some are walking, some using rollators, and some being pushed in wheelchairs; all were enjoying the spring blooms and abundant sunshine!

Getting outdoors = improved health and wellbeing. Find an outdoor activity that’s right for you. For me, it’s time to put up the rabbit fence, get my garden started, start cutting grass again, and watch for the return of “my” hummingbirds.

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