Feng Shui for the Elderly
There are different seasons in our lives that require different living conditions that suit our stages in our lives. For the most part we are able to create and design environments for ourselves, but when it comes to the elderly, they are more inclined to need help and guidance for the best solutions.
Parents who live at home or downsizing require a more simplistic approach to living. Quality and recognition of high and positive energy is always needed. If a parent is invited to stay in your home, their bedroom and surroundings should honor their presence, they should feel close and part of the general household activities, provide privacy and feel cozy. Avoid areas that might be loud, near small children or next to living or media rooms.
In addition, the room of the elderly should be positioned near a bathroom to facilitate easy access. Avoid stairs, slippery flooring, rugs and mats and furniture with sharp edges. Be mindful of the activities and routines that can still be carried on in their new environment. Do they like to read and if so do they have enough lighting? Do they hobbies and if so is there room or an area to work in? Transitioning should be smooth and can be achieved by including enough of their lifestyle habits in order to continue a routine and choices that can be continued to be valued by them.
The bedroom should have plenty of ventilation, soft colors schemes, music, a unit for aroma therapy and a good layout and traffic patterns. Most importantly, clutter should be eliminated. There should be enough storage and labeling to help organize items and keep track of their belongings. Seating should be high enough and firm enough for support and easy in and out access. Knobs should be large enough for a better grasp and hooks and closet rods should be low enough to help them with their restricted mobility. Remove clutter too avoid accidents and encourage independence. Keep in mind, the simpler the arrangement and organization, the more the independence.
Too many possessions can also create depression, living in the past and clinging on to old memories. Take pictures of these possessions, such of old artwork, furniture, collectables and pull out once in a while to reminisce and talk about. Keep for the most part what has purpose and brings good memories. Mix the old with the new by modernizing the space so it feels fresh and positive.
Too much stuff can collect dust, mold, and bugs affecting the health of the person. The space should be aired and dusting should be done on a regular basis and along with light vacuuming to keep the good chi going.
If possible, introduce a pet such as a parakeet or a fish which brings life and energy to a space and is easy to take care of. If there is additional help such as grand kids, a dog or a cat can provide hours of companionship provided there is help to walk the pet or clean up the cat litter box. Add plants as well, they help with improving air quality and provide positive chi energy.Look for things that are meaningful such as stamp collecting, serving tea, listening to music. Set up an area for the person to entertain, to invite and participate in activities.
Getting old should not be frowned upon, for the lucky ones we get to experience life in our golden years. With a little creativity and mindfulness, our loved ones can have a beautiful lifestyle and a place to enjoy the last chapter of their life.