The Dementia Connection

Creating Joy & Meaning for the Dementia Patient by Ronda Parsons

Even in Winter Nature’s Beauty is Found

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Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.Thomas Merton:

A day doesn’t have to be sunny and warm to be filled with delight and surprise. Even in the dead of winter, when drifts of snow cover the ground, my mother-in-law, Nan and I would still enjoy the beauty of nature. Since we couldn’t go outdoors, we would sit at the window and admire the bare trees whose branches were covered with snow and dripping icicles. We watched birds that visited the feeders outside our window and watched sunshine reflecting off the icy top of snow banks. We spoke of winter things and how lucky we were to inside where it was warm and cozy.

Don’t forget to share the beauty of nature with your loved one even when it is cold outside. Why not spend the winter months dreaming of the promise of spring by forcing flowers into bloom? I find that amaryllis and narcissus work the best. Place the bulbs shoulder to shoulder in shallow bowls and cover them with small stones. Next, add water and before long you will have a lovely display. Sometimes of the blooms become top heavy, use a ribbon to tie them to branches that you find in your yard. When they are done blooming, I plant them in my garden beds. Tulips and hyacinths can also be forced to flower, but first have to be tricked into thinking that they have experienced an entire winter season. I do this by placing them in my garage refrigerator for about two months.

In the late winter months, my mailbox is inundated with glossy seed catalogs. Nothing cures the winter blues better than leafing through pages filled with heirloom vegetables and annual flowers. Together Nan and I would sit and choose our favorite flowers and plan where we would plant them in just a few short months. Then three weeks before the final frost we begin our garden in in small pots that I make from newspaper that we placed on her windowsill. Winter is a time for enjoying nature’s quiet beauty as it slumbers and to look toward the spring that is just around the corner. Why not share this with your loved one?

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Author: Ronda Parsons

My book 'Creating Joy & Meaning for the Dementia Patient' is being released in May, 1015.

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