Is there anything greater after the lengthy, cold winter than finally being able to open up the windows and let the fresh, warm, springtime breezes blow through the home? Something about the sights, smells, and sounds of nature gives us a powerful pick-me-up, and that’s why it is so essential for seniors to seize the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors to the greatest extent possible.
Of distinct benefit to seniors are environments that 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 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.”
Try implementing the following ideas to help older adults make the best use of exploring and participating in the natural world around them:
- Invite your loved one to excursions at community parks, specifically those that feature a body of water, regardless if it is something as simple as a small koi pond or water fountain.
- Help the older adult assemble and maintain a tiny container garden of whatever is interesting – a favorite type of flower, a variety of easy-to-grow vegetables, or perhaps a small bonsai tree.
- For those with dementia, incorporate options for sensory stimulation using natural items such as sand, potting soil, grass, leaves, water, etc. Simply set pots of different materials on a picnic table outside and let the senior investigate.
- Visit a playground to allow for the added joy of listening to children’s laughter, coupled with the songs of birds and rustling leaves.
- Create a designated area on the front porch or in a shaded part of the yard that includes comfortable seating, and make it a regular routine, when weather permits, to sit and participate in discussions, read books, and enjoy some good fresh fruit or a picnic lunch with each other.
Reach out to Absolute Companion Care, providers of elder care Baltimore and the surrounding areas trust, for additional senior-friendly strategies for experiencing nature, and for a companion to provide transportation and accompaniment to engaging outdoor activities and functions. Our customized care services help seniors strive for optimal well-being by alleviating loneliness and isolation and offering the support necessary to remain active and engaged.
Whether the need is for only a couple hours weekly, around-the-clock care, or anything in between, reach out to us now at 410-357-9640 to inquire about a complimentary in-home consultation. Take the first step towards enhancing health and wellness for a loved one today with our exceptional senior companion care services!