Is there anything better after the long, cold winter than finally having the ability to open up the windows and allow the fresh, warm, springtime breezes drift through your house? There is something in the sights, scents, and sounds of nature that provides us a strong pick-me-up, which explains why it’s very important for older adults to take pleasure in the outdoors as often as possible.
Of distinct benefit to older adults are environments which are typically green and “blue” (those that include still or running water). According to Jessica Finlay, a doctoral candidate in geography and gerontology at the University of Minnesota and lead researcher in a recent 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 take full advantage of exploring nature and engaging in the natural world that surrounds your senior loved one, try these suggestions:
- Invite your loved one to outings at nearby parks, particularly the ones that include a body of water, even when it’s something as simple as a small koi pond or water fountain.
- Help the older adult create and maintain a container garden of whatever is of interest – a well-liked variety of flower, a number of easy-to-grow vegetables, or even a small bonsai tree.
- For anyone with dementia, incorporate options for sensory stimulation utilizing natural items such as sand, potting soil, grass, leaves, water, etc. Simply put together containers of various materials on a picnic table outdoors and let the senior investigate.
- Visit a playground to allow for the added joy of hearing children’s laughter coupled with the songs of birds and rustling leaves.
- Establish a designated area on the front porch or perhaps in a shaded part of the yard that includes comfortable seating, and then make it a daily routine, when weather allows, to sit and have discussions, read books, and savor some fresh fruit or a picnic lunch together.
For one of the very best home health care agencies in Baltimore and the surrounding area, contact Home With You Senior Care for more senior-friendly strategies for experiencing nature, or for a companion to provide transportation and accompaniment to enjoyable outdoor activities and functions. Our individualized care services make sure that seniors maintain optimum well-being all the time, alleviating loneliness and isolation and providing the confidence necessary to stay active and engaged.
Whether the need is for several hours every week, around-the-clock care, or anything in between, email or give us a call at 410-756-0959 to ask about a free in-home assessment and make the initial step to improving overall health for a loved one today!