As the weather starts to cool off and the trees drop their leaves, many homeowners suddenly realize how much lawn care is needed during the fall. If you’re a family caregiver for an elderly loved one, or help to provide home care for an aging family member, don’t forget that their home and lawn may also require maintenance.
Trees and leaves
In autumn, most deciduous trees drop their leaves in preparation for winter. Some trees also shed seeds or berries. While raking is a regular fall activity for most of us, it’s particularly important to clean up these items from outdoor spaces for an aging member of your family. Small items underfoot can be a trip and fall hazard, especially in frequently used spaces like walkways to garage or parking spaces, or front stoops.
Lawn care in the fall
Taking a little time now to care for the yard and any plantings can make lawn care in the spring simpler to deal with. Even though the weather is cooling off, don’t forget to keep grass lawns trimmed; this will make your first attempt at cutting the lawn in the spring easier, too. Autumn is also a good time of year to fill in any bald spots in the yard, as the grass will take root and then winterize with the rest of the lawn.
Don’t forget the details
Fall is also a good reminder to check other aspects of home care for your senior family member. If the furnace in their home hasn’t been turned on in several months, take this opportunity to check their filter, and to make sure it runs smoothly. It’s always better to find out when furnace repairs are needed before the temperatures begin to drop!
Make sure to winterize any outdoor spaces for your senior family member, as well. Outdoor furniture and patio accessories can all be cleaned and stored, and any outdoor plants can be brought inside or built up with mulch or dirt to stay healthy over the winter.
Keep your loved one engaged
As with any work you do in the home of an aging family member, take advantage of the opportunity to ask them for their thoughts and preferences. Seniors may feel like they have less control over their homes or lives, so asking them what height they’d like their hedges trimmed to may feel like a small gesture, but will make them feel independent and engaged with the seasonal yard work. Good home care means caring for the physical needs of your loved one, as well as their emotional and mental needs!