Is there anything better after the extended, cold winter than finally having the ability to open up the windows and to allow the clean, warm, springtime breezes to blow through the home? Something in the sights, smells, and sounds of nature provides us with a pick-me-up, which is why it’s so essential for senior loved ones to get the chance to take pleasure in the outside to the greatest extent possible.
A particular health benefit to seniors are environments which are green and “blue” (those that include still or running water). Per Jessica Finlay, a PhD 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.”
Experiment with the following ideas to ensure senior loved ones have the ability to make the most of investigating and engaging in the natural world around them:
- Invite your senior loved one to excursions at nearby parks, particularly ones that feature a body of water, even when it is something as simple as a koi pond or water fountain.
- Help the older adult create and maintain a small container garden of whatever is of interest – a favorite kind of flower, a variety of easy-to-grow vegetables, or possibly even a small bonsai tree.
- For those with dementia, provide opportunities for sensory stimulation using natural items including sand, potting soil, grass, leaves, water, etc. Simply place containers of different materials on a picnic table outdoors and have the senior explore.
- Visit a playground to allow for the additional joy of hearing children’s laughter mingled with the sounds of birds and rustling leaves.
- Set up a designated area on the front porch or in a shaded portion of the yard with comfortable seating, and make it a regular routine, when weather allows, to sit and enjoy conversations, read books, and savor some seasonal fresh fruit or a picnic lunch with each other.
If you’re looking for senior care in Kansas City, MO, look no further than Hearts at Home In-Home Care, the in-home care specialists, for more senior-friendly tips for enjoying nature, or for a companion to provide transportation and accompaniment to fun outdoor activities and functions. Our personalized care services make sure that seniors maintain total wellbeing all of the time, alleviating loneliness and isolation and providing the encouragement necessary to remain active and engaged.
Whether the need is for just one or two hours every week, around-the-clock care, or something in between, email or call us any time at 913-440-4209 to ask about a complimentary in-home assessment in Kansas City and the surrounding area, and take the first step to improving health and wellbeing for a senior loved one today!