Birdwatching can really boost a mobile elderly person’s lifestyle and contribute to overall levels of health and wellness but what about seniors that aren’t mobile or are temporarily or permanently resting indoors? Birdwatching is ideal for homebound seniors and is a wonderful alternative to watching TV or reading. It keeps the mind active and gives seniors a way to participate in an ongoing hobby without leaving their living room.
Indoor Birdwatching Setup Steps
Once the birdwatching station is established by family members and home care aides, there’s an endless amount of possibilities on what the elderly birdwatcher will see out the window. Here are the steps to setting up seniors for indoor birdwatching:
- Arrange the furniture so that the senior has a clear view of the window. This might mean moving a recliner directly in front of a window or angling it so that the birdwatcher doesn’t have to strain their neck or eyes.
- Make sure the observation window is clean on the inside and out. Dirt, streaks, thick screens and view-obstructing window dressing can all diminish the enjoyment of watching birds.
- Determine what birds live in the area and research what they eat and what kind of feeders they use. Different birds eat a variety of foods so it’s important to prepare a place that the birds want to be feeding.
- Hang or install the bird feeders in the direct view of the birdwatcher. They should be easily viewed when they are sitting in their chair. Use chains and hooks, or mounted posts to adjust heights of the bird feeders.
- Add color and texture to the habitat by including flowers, small garden decorations, a bird bath and attractive plants to create a picture-perfect view the birdwatcher will enjoy.
- Adjust these for the different seasons for maximum enjoyment.
- Set up a birdwatching station next to the chair with binoculars, a notebook and a small field guide for identifying local birds. A camera, small snack and a water bottle can help seniors spend many comfortable hours birdwatching. Make sure the items are easy to reach from the recliner.
- Leave instructions for home care aides about keeping the bird feeders filled and cleaned.
With a well-prepared habitat that changes with the seasonal requirements, there’s no end to what homebound seniors can experience when they begin birdwatching as a hobby. A family caregiver or home care aide can make sure the senior is ready for each birdwatching excursion.
Homebound birdwatchers can even contribute to the local birdwatching community by recording their sightings. Many groups have a website where participants can list the different birds they see, as well as where and when they are spotted. Local bird groups may also have regular newsletters where bird watchers can get news and information about seasonal visitors and year-round resident birds.
When it comes to keeping involved and active, many seniors don’t have a choice as illness, surgery and age-related conditions affect them. However, indoor birdwatching can keep them involved and active while providing infinite variation to their lives. It only takes a little assistance from family members and home care aides to prepare the elderly birdwatcher for hours of activity. As the seasons change, so do the birds that visit an eye-catching and welcoming habitat. For seniors that are required to spend a lot of their time indoors, birdwatching is a rewarding and inspirational gateway to the outdoors.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Bellevue, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.