Following weeks of awful weather, dare we believe that Spring is just round the corner?
Lambs in the fields, crocuses on the lawn, daffodils beginning to bloom and early signs of blossom on the trees. So, is the worst of the winter weather behind us?
For people who may have spent weeks or months in a hospital or care home, one positive thought is that they probably weren’t cold during the long winter months. For most, the endless rain and winds of January and February, passed them by.
But, whatever the weather, keeping a sense of time and place is hugely important for anyone who feels cut off from the world around them especially if they are older and have dementia. Although many patients may be confined to bed, or the bedside, there are things that can be done to give them a sense of hope and connection as the warmer weather approaches.
Here are our thoughts on what you can do to make a difference to a loved one as we move into March.
1, As the Spring flowers start to burst through, see if it is possible for your relative to sit somewhere where they can see some daffodils, tulips etc in bloom. As the days get warmer, ask if you can open a few windows for a short while so that they can get a sense of the warmer air, the smells and the noise of the outside world. If they are on the ground floor, see if the French windows can be open so that patients can sit outside for a few minutes, if necessary, well wrapped up.
2, For those on higher floors, it may be possible to transform someone’s view from staring at sky to staring at a tree in full blossom. Sometimes it only takes a small movement of a bed, whether it is moving it a few inches or raising it up a little, to enable a patient to get a more interesting view. Even better, if there are birds nesting in the branches.
3. If the weather is good, wear something cheerful that reflects it. Brightly coloured clothes, jewellery, scarves or a tie will lift everyone's spirits.
4. Bring in newspapers and magazines to help connect the patient with the outside world. This is the time of year when photographers love to take pictures of baby lambs, fields full of Spring flowers, pancake races and blossom.
5. It may not suit everyone but The Cheltenham Festival, Sports Relief, etc are all major sporting events that attract interest from a huge range of people who would otherwise never take up a sport or follow the horses. You don’t need to place a bet, simply make it an occasion to celebrate on the ward and have fun watching the build-up, the event and the celebrations afterwards. Ask if you can put up a notice to remind people of the dates and times of these events. It’s so easy to lose track of time in hospital and then the event it missed.
Happy St Patrick's Day