by: Melanie Farley
There’s a growing body of research that suggests spending time outdoors can greatly impact health and wellbeing across the lifespan. Outdoor activities have been shown to give participants a more positive view of exercise, reduce depression, anxiety, and improve cognitive abilities.
Unfortunately, older adults are the least likely population to engage in outdoor activities, likely because many seniors suffer from cognitive and mobility issues. It can be challenging to find outdoor activities for seniors, but with a little thought and planning, it’s possible for anyone to enjoy the great outdoors.
Read on for 3 suggestions of outdoor activities you and your beloved senior will love!
Go on a Scenic Drive
For those with limited mobility, a scenic drive could be just what the doctor ordered. Even though there’s minimal physical activity, your senior will still benefit from the fresh air and vitamin D.
Some studies even show that proximity to nature has mental health benefits thanks to our instinctual draw toward the great outdoors.
Plan an Outdoor Picnic
Invite a few friends and pack a healthy picnic to give your senior an experience that satisfies their nutritional, social, and emotional needs.
In the Philadelphia region, there are so many great options for a day trip. From the mountainous Adirondacks to the rolling hills of upstate NY, you are sure to find something everyone will love!
Feed the Ducks, or Go Birdwatching
Grab a sack of nuts and seeds, and head out with your senior to feed the ducks at your local park. Animal interaction has been shown to reduce anxiety in seniors and delay cognitive decline.
Or, maybe birdwatching is more your speed. Of course, you could watch the birds right outside your window, but if you want to see rarer birds like an egret or a swan, the Philadelphia region has quite of few parks worth a visit.
A Final Word…
As we age, maintaining our connection with the natural world promotes mental and emotional wellbeing. Although it can be challenging to find accessible outdoor activities for seniors, it is well worth the effort. Whether you try one of our suggestions, or something else entirely, we hope you’ll get outside and enjoy the great outdoors this spring!
Would your senior loved one benefit from expert adult day care in a warm, welcoming environment? The healthcare professionals at Northeast Adult Day Care can provide skilled care, monitoring, and social interaction for your loved one! Reach out to learn more, [email protected].