Spending time in nature has a whole host of benefits for all of us, from younger to older ages. From breathing fresh air to reconnecting with plants and animals, it’s the perfect antidote for life’s stresses.
Yet did you know that nature holds some specific benefits for older adults? Here are some of the ways that spending time outdoors in nature can help seniors:
1. It increases vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is essential for immune health and other functions, yet it’s a tricky vitamin to get through food. Seniors often don’t get enough vitamin D. Spending even just a brief amount of time outdoors in the sun—as little as 15 minutes—can provide the body with vitamin D. Of course, make sure to monitor sun exposure and use sunscreen if your older loved one will be outside longer than that timeframe.
2. It helps stress melt away. With today’s fast-paced lifestyle and constant distractions, spending time in nature is truly a way to get away from it all. Even seniors can get sucked into the chimes and text notifications that we all are surrounded by nowadays. When we spend time outdoors, we can turn off the notifications and reconnect with the natural world. The end result? Stress relief.
3. Nature helps cope with or lower the risk for anxiety and depression. Seniors who spend time outside are less likely to experience depression and can find it helps them cope with anxiety. It could be the combination of taking in calming views, breathing fresh air, and getting some exercise that makes nature so beneficial for the mental health of seniors.
How to Experience Nature and the Outdoors If You Can’t Go Out Much
OK, so you’re sold on the idea of exposing your older loved one to more time outdoors. Yet what if it’s simply too hot where you live? Or rainy? Or what if mobility issues make it challenging for your loved one to spend regular time outside?
Fortunately, there are still some ways that you can bring nature to them so they can reap the benefits:
- Start a container garden that they can help maintain. You can make it as small or as elaborate as you wish. If you need something easy, stick with cacti and succulents.
- Have your loved one regularly sit near a sunny window or a window with a nice
view of nature.
- Watch videos of nature. You and your loved one can choose the scenery, from a
spectacular sunrise to waves on the beach to majestic mountains.
- Play nature sounds, which you can also find online. Think soothing waves, rainfall, or sounds in the forest.
- Plan to get outside when the weather may cooperate, however brief it may be. If
outdoors time is limited by nature—say, Florida heat—then see if you and your loved one can spend time outside during slightly cooler times of the day. Is an early morning or early evening walk doable, for instance?
Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Care Management
At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.