Is there anything greater following a very long, cold winter than finally being able to open up the windows and allowing the fresh, warm, springtime breezes to blow throughout the house? Something in the sights, aromas, and sounds of nature gives us a powerful pick-me-up, which explains why it’s so important for older adults to get the chance to take advantage of the benefits of outdoor activities for seniors.
Of distinct benefit to seniors are environments which are green and “blue” (those that encompass still or running water). According to Jessica Finlay, a doctoral candidate in geography and gerontology at the University of Minnesota and head researcher in a current study of 65 – 86-year-olds, “We discovered how a relatively mundane experience, such as hearing the sound of water or a bee buzzing among flowers, can have a tremendous impact on overall health. Accessibility to everyday green and blue spaces encourages seniors to simply get out the door. This in turn motivates them to be active physically, spiritually, and socially, which can offset illness, disability, and isolation.”
To experience the health advantages from being outside, experiment with the examples listed below, making sure that senior loved ones have the ability to make use of investigating and engaging in the natural world that surrounds them:
- Invite your loved one to outings at neighborhood parks, specifically those that also include a body of water, even if it is only a small koi pond or water fountain.
- Help the older adult create and maintain a container garden of whatever is interesting – a favorite kind of flower, a number of easy-to-grow vegetables, or perhaps even a small bonsai tree.
- For those with dementia, incorporate opportunities for sensory stimulation making use of natural elements including sand, potting soil, grass, leaves, water, etc. Simply prepare pots of various materials on a picnic table outdoors and let the senior explore.
- Visit a playground to allow for the added joy of listening to children’s laughter mingled with the songs of birds and rustling leaves.
- Construct a specific area on the front porch or in a shaded part of the yard with comfy seating, and make it a daily ritual, when weather permits, to sit and enjoy discussions, read books, and take pleasure in some seasonal fresh fruit or a picnic lunch together.
Contact Enhanced Home Care, the Johnson County home health care experts, to get more senior-friendly tips for experiencing nature, or even for a companion to supply transportation and accompaniment to fun outdoor activities and gatherings. Our individualized care services ensure that seniors maintain the best possible well-being at all times, relieving loneliness and isolation and offering the confidence needed to stay active and engaged.
Whether the need is for only a couple of hours every week, around-the-clock care, or anything in between, reach out to us any time at 913-327-0000 to learn more about our Johnson County home health care services and the areas we serve. We’d love to schedule a free in-home assessment and help you take the first step towards enhancing health and wellness for your loved one.