Spring has sprung and the outdoors are calling to all of us. The air is crisp and the birds are singing, daffodils and tulips are saying hello, and just as we all want to get out of the house and work on projects outside, so do our elders.
Outdoor activities keep the elderly from sitting stagnant in the house, provide them with fresh air and needed sunshine. It helps them feel alive and connected to nature and their surroundings. Below we will discuss 5 activities that elders are capable of doing safely.
Gardening or Flower Keeping
Depending on their level of activity, gardening improves the quality of life of the elderly by keeping them moving, improving their nutrition, and making them feel like they are contributing when they share their produce with family and friends. It helps lower pain, improves strength and balance, and enhances memory. Even if it’s tomatoes in a bucket, or a row of corn, keeping the weeds out and watering their crop is highly beneficial.
If less activity is necessary, pots of flowers are cheerful, require maintenance and watering, and can draw bees and hummingbirds. It gives them something to look forward to and get excited about.
It requires nothing more than maybe a small pair of binoculars and a book on the local bird population and off they go. If birds are a natural interest for your senior citizen, “collecting” bird species can keep them indefinitely entertained. They have a topic of conversation for every setting, and if they choose to feed the birds, gives them something that keeps them active filling bird feeders and cleaning birdbaths.
Depending on strength and activity level, hanging washing on the line outside is good exercise and makes laundry smell amazing. It was common for the elderly to hang their laundry to dry when they were young. It will bring back good memories! If they have the space and you are able to install a line for them, sheets and towels dried in the sun will bring a lot of joy.
A Cozy Sitting Area
For the more frail, less active senior, just having a beautiful sitting area outside where they can watch nature, read a book, and soak up the sun and fresh air is highly beneficial. A place to put a yummy beverage, a footrest, and a bit of shade is all they need to get a good nap in or finish a chapter or two. Anything to break up the monotony of their days does so much for their mental health.
Walking is exceptional exercise, and if your senior is still active enough to take a slow walk safely outdoors, encourage it as much as possible. Get them some cute shoes, find beautiful places to take them, and take a walk together. If they have a dog that can go, take them too! A lot of the time, they will walk in malls because they are safe from the weather, but in spring when it isn’t too hot and not too buggy get them outside in the sunshine!
Just because you are slowing down, doesn’t mean you can’t have a wonderful life. It just means you have to adapt and find new things to enjoy. Keeping a positive attitude and having things to look forward to are so important. If you need help getting your elderly loved one home health care (so they can stay home and have independence) give us a call.
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