With temperatures now into the double digits in Manitoba, there’s energy and excitement in the air and many of us feel more inclined to tackle spring maintenance projects both inside and outside the house.

There’s always such a sense of accomplishment when winter debris is cleaned up and the yard is raked and ready for the first blades of green grass to emerge.

For long-term homeowners, we often take for granted the ability to tackle the many different projects on the to-do list. Tasks like cleaning the gutters, servicing the air conditioner, maintaining the lawn mower, or washing windows are all important in helping to maintain the integrity of the home.

However, as we age, we sometimes have to take a different approach to what we’ve done in the past and what we’ll be able to accomplish this spring or in the future. Family members often worry about elderly parents and if they’re taking on too much.

The first thing to consider is safety. If you’re worried about the senior in your life getting up on a ladder, then you should hire out the job or make it a priority to lend a hand before they decide to tackle the gutters on their own. Falling and becoming seriously injured is probably one of the biggest worries.

To ensure the home doesn’t fall into disrepair, set a simple plan into action by preparing a checklist of all the tasks that need to be accomplished as we head into the warmer months of the year. Then, jointly review the list to determine what can safely be done by the senior, what should be hired out and what can be tackled by other family members.

It’s important to be open and honest, both as a senior and as the adult child of a senior. People want to keep their independence for as long as possible, so the key is to continue to take on tasks that have a positive impact on their overall health and well-being.

Gardening is one of those activities that many seniors can do safely and still thoroughly enjoy. They can take their time to clean up garden beds, trim shrubs and bushes and plant. If using the proper tools, it doesn’t have to be overly strenuous and quite often the benefits outweigh the risks. Plus, it’s another great excuse to spend lots of time outdoors.

While spring can definitely be invigorating to some, the fresh, new season can be daunting for others. Watch or listen for cues from your loved ones if the responsibilities of maintaining a home appear to be too much. If so, it may be time to consider an apartment, condominium or senior living community where the worry of home maintenance literally disappears.