Saturday, December 26, 2015

Feng Shui for Seniors

Me and my Mom!
I am excited to welcome back contributing author to the world of Feng Shui. Helen Gaynor, freelance writer, has gifted us with some fabulous Feng Shui advice. As we age, Feng Shui actually becomes more important to our well being - whether living alone, in a assisted living facility or a nursing home. Our physical environments affect us no matter what age we are and it is vital to our physical wellness and mental health. Enjoy!

Feng Shui can have an impact upon everyone, no matter what their demographic. The way in which our environment affects our lives is becoming an increasingly acknowledged phenomenon, scientifically and psychologically speaking [1] – something which practitioners of Feng Shui have known for generations. However, the increasing acceptance of many Feng Shui principles by the establishment is opening the discipline out to a greater audience. This is great, as there are many groups of people who can seriously benefit from Feng Shui. The elderly are one such group. Making the environment in which our seniors live can have some extremely beneficial effects. Here are just a few ways in which Feng Shui can be used to help the elderly.

Balance Out ‘Yin’ Energy

Due to a number of factors, including reduced income and mobility, the homes of seniors have a tendency to allow encroaching ‘Yin’ energies to predominate. The space may become dark, cold, cluttered, and generally uncongenial to health. This in turn can make seniors more vulnerable to issues like depression and substance abuse, to which they are already (sadly) predisposed as a demographic. An inability to afford things like heating and air conditioning ensures that air fails to circulate as it should and the life energies of the home become passive – stagnant, if you will. Sadly, it's also not uncommon for reduced mobility to result in a reduced ability to perform simple cleaning tasks, which may end up encouraging things like mildew - not good from either a Feng Shui or a health point of view! Doing things as simple as opening windows, going round with a duster, and freshening up the home with lighter curtains, live flowers and so on can help to restore the positive balance of energies – essential for preventing chi entropy. Keeping the energy within the home vibrant and balanced will help to ensure that your elderly loved ones have a better quality of life.

Clear The Clutter

We accumulate an awful lot over the course of a lifetime, and many items have precious associations which encourages them to keep them close. However, this does not mean that they have to be strewn haphazardly around our homes, or make our rooms seem crowded with 'stuff'. Furthermore, elderly people may become less able to keep on top of their homes when it comes to tidiness. It is essential that clutter is not allowed to get a hold on a senior’s home. Not only is a cluttered, messy environment profoundly bad from a Feng Shui perspective, it can also present a considerable health hazard. The older we get, the more at risk of falls we become [2]. Clutter puts the elderly at greater danger of tripping. Furthermore, it can actively reduce our ability to process information – not ideal if you’re trying to cope with age-related cognitive decline as well. If clutter becomes excessive, it can also put people in psychological danger – encouraging misery and depression. Of course, sometimes clutter can be a sign of something more sinister [3]. Compulsive Hoarding Disorder presents a huge variety of risks both mental and physical [4]. If your loved one is proving excessively resistant to de-cluttering, it may be worth getting them a psychological assessment, and perhaps some professional help.

Make Your Presence Felt

Filling the home of a vulnerable senior who lives alone with your vibrant, kind, human energy can be profoundly uplifting. Spending time with your loved one and doing your best to make their home a more positive environment can in itself improve things. Loneliness is a great scourge for the elderly people of today, so just being there for them and letting them know that you care will be a great help. If you can also use the time to clean up, tidy up, improve the flow of energy, and generally make the environment a more positive, balanced, and vibrant one then that is a bonus. At a time when many of us feel that we are losing control and losing touch, having someone to help bring the environment into line and spend time with us really can make all the difference to the way in which we live our lives.

[1] “How the environment affects mental health”

[2] “Important Facts about Falls”

[3] “When It Isn’t Just Clutter Anymore”

[4] “The Dangers of Too Much Stuff”

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