Is there anything better following the long, cold winter than to finally be able to open up the windows and allow the fresh, warm, springtime breezes to blow through the house? Something about the sights, aromas, and sounds of nature gives us a powerful pick-me-up, which is why it is very important for senior loved ones to get the opportunity to take pleasure in the outside to the greatest extent possible.
Of particular benefit to older adults are environments that are classified as green and “blue” (those that encompass still or running water). According to Jessica Finlay, a PhD candidate in geography and gerontology at the University of Minnesota and head 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.”
Consider the examples listed below to help your senior loved ones make the most of investigating and engaging in the benefits of being outdoors:
- Invite the senior to excursions at neighborhood parks, especially ones that also include a body of water, regardless if it’s something as common 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, offer options for sensory stimulation using natural items such as sand, potting soil, grass, leaves, water, etc. Simply prepare pots of different materials on a picnic table outdoors and allow the senior explore.
- Visit a playground to allow for the additional joy of hearing children’s laughter coupled with the sounds of birds and rustling leaves.
- Designate a specific area on the front porch, or even in a shaded area of the yard with comfortable seating, and then make it a regular routine, when weather allows, to sit and have conversations, read books, and enjoy some good fresh fruit or a picnic lunch with each other.
Reach out to Grace Home Care, the experts in elder care in Topeka, for more senior-friendly ideas for taking pleasure in nature, or for a companion to provide transportation and accompaniment to fun outdoor activities and events. Our individualized care services make sure seniors maintain the greatest possible total well-being at all times, alleviating loneliness and isolation and supplying the support necessary to remain active and engaged.
If you are in Topeka or the surrounding area, and if you need help for a couple hours each week, around-the-clock care, or something in between, email or give us a call any time at 785-286-2273 to request a complimentary in-home assessment and make the initial step to enhancing health and wellbeing for a senior loved one today!