Managing Caregiver Cabin Fever during Indiana Winters

Managing Caregiver Cabin Fever during Indiana Winters

  • January 26, 2016

If you are a caregiver for an Indiana senior loved one, winter can seem never-ending. Because the weather is often too cold or too icy to venture outside, caregivers and seniors are stuck indoors. It can lead to a serious case of “cabin fever.”

Avoiding Caregiver Cabin Fever

Here are a few indoor activities that may help keep you from developing the winter blues this year:

  • Sing Alongs. Music brings joy to people’s lives. Find out your senior’s favorite songs and try to find the lyrics online if you don’t know them. Create song playlists you can enjoy together each morning or afternoon.
  • Dance. Dancing helps strengthen muscles and preserve balance. It can also aid in walking. Try to find lively music from when your loved one was young and have a daily dance party together in the living room.
  • Fun and Games. Cards, puzzles and board games can be good for brain health and your mental health during the long winters. Stock up on games you and your Indiana senior loved one can play together.
  • Try out a new recipe. Baking can be a fun activity to tackle with both older and younger loved ones. It can also provide aromatherapy benefits when your home fills with smells like vanilla from cookies or freshly baked bread.
  • Bring in a bit of nature. Buy fresh flowers every week or two at the local grocery store. Small bundles are fairly inexpensive and may help boost your mood. You can also try starting seeds for some of your favorite spring bulb flowers indoors.
  • Start a daily journal. Another great way to beat the winter blues is by journaling. The therapeutic value of this activity has been well documented.
  • Become bird watchers. Purchase a bird feeder, bird seed, binoculars and a bird watching guide. You and your senior loved one can use them to monitor what your feathered friends are up to each day.

Finally, if cabin fever is just getting to be too much for you, consider taking advantage of short-term respite care at an Indiana assisted living community near you. It will allow you to get away for a night or weekend with friends.

For more tips for beating cabin fever, the Alzheimer’s Association has an online Caregiver Center with other great caregiver resources and ideas.

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