Elder Care Fun: National Flashlight Day
Elder Care in West Windsor NJ
December 21 is the Winter Solstice, also known as the shortest day of the year because the placement of the sun makes it so that this day has the fewest hours of sunlight and the most hours of darkness. It marks the official beginning of the winter season and the time when the amount of sunlight in the day gradually gets more as the seasons creep toward spring. This shortest day of the year, appropriately, National Flashlight Day.
Flashlights are a commonplace device in today’s society, in fact, there is even an app on smartphones that simulates a classic flashlight and allows you to create a bright stream of light from the end of the phone by pushing a “switch” on the touchscreen, but it has been less than 120 years since they first existed. Developed in 1899 when inventors were able to create a compact incandescent bulb that could be operated by dry cell batteries. Some of the earliest flashlights were given by the creator to the New York Police Department, which raved about the new creation that allowed officers to explore and patrol into the night.
The name of the flashlight comes from the fact that the earliest of these devices could not operate for long stretches of time. The specific batteries used in these first flashlights were not stable enough to maintain a steady current for a long stretch and could only produce a short amount, or “flash” of light.
Many years later flashlights have been modified and improved countless times and are now an integral part of many emergency plans. Some of the flashlights that you should have as part of your elder care journey with your parents include:
• Keychain flashlight. These tiny flashlights hang right from a keychain, making them perfect to use for illuminating a lock to get into a door more quickly at night, looking for things in the dark, or providing a bit of extra light when looking at menus inside dark restaurants. They can also be extremely helpful when providing first aid for minor injuries and accidents.
• Emergency flashlight. Your flashlights will not do you much good in the event of a power outage if you are not able to find them. These flashlights plug into the wall where they act as nightlights, but if the power goes out, their batteries kick in and they automatically illuminate so that you are able to find them quickly and easily.
• Car flashlight. Having a flashlight in the car can help if you need to make a minor repair in the dark or to provide a sense of comfort and security to a senior who is fearful of the dark but must travel at night.
While flashlights are primarily for useful purposes, there are also some fun ways that you can celebrate National Flashlight Day, including:
• Shine the flashlight on the wall and make shadow puppets with your children. Encourage your parents to tell stories and have your children act them out
• Head outside for an evening scavenger hunt
• Use rubber bands to attach colored plastic wrap to the ends of the flashlights and encourage your children and parents to make “light shows” together.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care services in West Windsor, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information.