The benefits of being outdoors extend to people of all ages, but it seems especially therapeutic for older adults. Not only can it improve both physical and mental health – it also can simply make people feel better.
10 benefits of getting outdoors for older adults
If you’ve ever wondered about the healing and soothing advantages of spending time in nature, take a look at what a little fresh air can provide.
#1: Enhanced mood and reduced depression
Nature acts as a serene backdrop to alleviate stress and boost your mood. Exposure to sunlight increases serotonin levels, promotes a sense of well-being and reduces the risk of depression. The calming presence of trees, flowers and animals can help the individual feel more relaxed and content.
#2: Improved physical health
Regular outdoor activities, such as walking or gardening, help support mobility and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Exposure to sunlight also aids in receiving vitamin D that contributes to bone health, immune function and reducing inflammation. You can also see improved cardiovascular health, flexibility and overall well-being if you’re active in nature.
#3: Enhanced cognitive function
Spending time outdoors has also been linked to improved attention, memory and cognitive function. Engaging with the natural environment stimulates the brain, supports cognitive health and can help older adults maintain their mental sharpness. Research continues but engaging in nature might also slow the progression or symptoms of cognitive diseases.
#4: Better sleep quality
Natural light exposure helps regulate circadian rhythms, promoting better sleep. Regular interaction with the outdoors can help older adults establish a healthier sleep-wake cycle, improving the overall quality of sleep and reducing instances of insomnia. Participating in outdoor activities can also naturally encourage tiredness and being ready to sleep at the end of the day.
#5: Strengthened social connections
Outdoor activities with groups or even just one friend or two can foster social interactions and help build meaningful relationships among older adults. Whether it’s a walking group or a garden club, shared experiences in nature create opportunities for bonding – reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.
#6: Increased longevity
Studies suggest that individuals with regular exposure to green spaces tend to live longer. The combined physical, mental and social benefits of being outdoors contribute to overall well-being and longevity, enabling a more fulfilling, enriched life as you grow older.
#7: Stimulation of the senses
The sights, sounds and scents of nature act as natural stimulants for the senses. The vibrant colors of ground cover, the rustle of leaves and the fragrance of blooming flowers create an invigorating sensory experience.
#8: Boosted creativity and learning
Nature inspires creativity and promotes lifelong learning. Whether it’s bird watching, learning about different plant species or engaging in outdoor art projects, the diverse and dynamic environment stimulates curiosity and creative expression, offering endless learning opportunities.
#9: Spiritual connection and reflection
Nature serves as a tranquil space for reflection and spiritual connection. Many older adults find solace and a deeper understanding of life through the contemplative environment provided by the outdoors – which may contribute to a sense of peace and holistic well-being.
#10: Sense of accomplishment
Engaging in outdoor activities like gardening can instill a sense of achievement and purpose. Nurturing plants and watching them flourish can enhance self-esteem and provide a rewarding, purposeful experience, enriching the daily lives of older adults.
How assisted living promotes the great outdoors
Nature is a source of renewal, vitality and a timeless companion for everyone. Senior living communities understand its advantages and will usually incorporate many outdoor activities into their calendar. Your loved one will also find areas outdoors where they can participate in gardening, walk a pathway or sit under the shade of a tree and listen to the leaves whisper in the breeze.
Communities also know the importance of providing a variety of choices to their residents. Whether loved ones thrive in outdoor activities or deeply appreciate the feel of sunshine on their faces, they’ll discover the many benefits of sharing their days in nature.
Retirement living in Wadsworth, Illinois
Galloway Senior Living, locally owned and operated, provides luxury and quality care for families in our community.
Assisted Living at Galloway Senior Living offers beautiful and contemporary private residences that range from alcove studios to two-bedrooms and include high-end stainless-steel appliances, maple hardwood cabinets, cultured marble countertops and thoughtfully curated décor and colors.
Our Memory Care community offers a family kitchen, dining room, walking garden, and lounge.
Our services include:
- 24-hour certified nursing assistants, on-staff licensed nurses, medication management, and on-site physician visits
- COVID-19 safety protocols
- Assistance with daily tasks
- Readily available safe transportation
- A fall-reduction program
- In-unit emergency response systems including an electronic monitoring system for exit doors
- On-site entertainment and activities personalized to reflect the residents’ preferences
- Housekeeping and linen services including personal laundry
Amenities you’ll find at Galloway Senior Living include:
- Country Café and Convenience Store
- Salon and Spa
- Theater with 85” television
- Activity and Craft Center
- Game Room
- Library and Business Center
- Fitness Center
If you or your family is considering retirement living in Wadsworth, Illinois, we hope you will visit our community at Galloway Senior Living. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions.
We also invite you to download our complimentary information, Family Decision Toolkit: How to Choose the Right Senior Living Community.