As we know, getting outside is so healthy for all of us and now is the time to do it in most parts of the country. Some wait so long. I wonder what might happen if your community doubled its efforts to get people outside. Did you know gardening and birding have been America’s number two top hobbies especially for older people?
So, if you have one raised garden bed, consider two. If you have two flower beds, consider adding one or two more. Consider pots, they are an easy start. Tomatoes in pots. Flowers in pots. If you have a garden in the courtyard, consider one in the front or vice versa. Dr. Bill Thomas of the Eden Alternative realized much more than boring grass people need gardens to watch, tend to and harvest. Watching corn grow is much more interesting than grass. A perennial garden. Annuals. Spring bulb flowers. Fall mums.
Bird feeders. Bird baths possibly. How about one out each resident room window? Squirrel feeders, depending upon your squirrel situation. A butterfly garden.
How about windsocks, weathervanes, weather stations, rain gauges, thermometers. A small windmill. Things that woo people out there. A pond. Ponds draw ducks and birds naturally. A fountain.
People who live in institutions tell us they don’t get out as much as they’d like. Collect their ideas. See how many you can come up.
Consider pouring a walkway through all that wasted grass to also woo people outside. Over time add benches, tables, possibly a Whisper Glide swing.
Some teams offer dining outside. If you lived in a nursing home, how would you like it if you were asked, “Would you like to eat inside or out this meal?”
More and more nursing homes have chickens for those who live there to tend to, enjoy, collect eggs and the wider team fully supports them. In fact, to learn of one and how it affects those who live there, go to WY Culture Change Nursing Home Video 2023 Morning Star on YouTube for a recent mini-documentary of changed culture using the Eden Alternative including ways they have naturally wooed people outside more.
Carmen Bowman, MHS, is a former activity director, first certified activity professional to be a surveyor, CMS federal surveyor who taught the Basic Surveyor course and is an Eden Alternative Associate and Mentor. She has fun calling herself a Regulator turned Educator as owner of Edu-Catering: Catering Education for Compliance and Culture Change. She helps teams chip away at institutional culture with a strong foundation of regulatory requirements – moving away from traditional activity programing to offering real life. Activity consulting, personalized continuing education. Compliance and culture change workbooks at www.actionpact.com. “Cutting edge-ucation” nominal pay-per-view training videos at www.patreon.com/educatering, email@example.com 303-981-7228 www.edu-catering.com The Culture Change Minute for free www.facebook.com/Edu-catering