Spring has sprung and there is almost nothing better after the extended, cold winter than finally being able to open up the windows and let the fresh, warm, springtime breezes drift throughout the house. Something in the sights, aromas, and sounds of nature provides us an effective pick-me-up, and that’s why it’s so important for older adults to have the opportunity to benefit from being outside.
Of particular benefit to seniors are surroundings which are green and “blue” (those that include still or running water). According to Jessica Finlay, a PhD 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.”
Try out the following ideas to provide senior loved ones with the opportunity to make the most of exploring and engaging in the natural world around them:
- Invite the senior to outings at nearby parks, especially those that encompass a body of water, regardless if it’s something as simple as a small koi pond or water fountain.
- Help the older adult assemble and maintain a small container garden of whatever is of great interest – a favorite type of flower, a number of easy-to-grow vegetables, or possibly a small bonsai tree.
- For those with dementia, incorporate opportunities for sensory stimulation using natural items; for example: sand, potting soil, grass, leaves, water, etc. Simply position pots of several materials on a picnic table outdoors and have the senior explore.
- Visit a playground to allow for the extra joy of hearing children’s laughter, coupled with the sounds of birds and rustling leaves.
- Put together a specified area on the front porch or in a shaded portion of the yard that includes comfortable seating, and then make it a daily routine, when weather allows, to sit and have conversations, read books, and enjoy some good fresh fruit or a picnic lunch with each other.
Get in touch with Compassionate Nursing Services, the in-home care experts, for more senior-friendly tips for experiencing nature, and for a companion to provide transportation and accompaniment to enjoyable outdoor activities and events. Our individualized care services make sure that seniors maintain the greatest possible total well-being all of the time, alleviating loneliness and isolation and supplying the support needed to stay active and engaged.
Whether the need is for just one or two hours weekly, around-the-clock care, or anything in between, our caregivers are ready to help with expert elderly care in St. Louis and the surrounding areas. Email or call any time at 314-432-4312 to request a cost-free in-home consultation and take the initial step to improving health and wellbeing for a loved one today!