Many of us have been cooped up for a long time due to the pandemic, but this spring offers more opportunities to get outside and moving. This is particularly important for our seniors who have been even more bound to their houses over the last couple of months.
Americans spends 90 percent of their lives indoors; as they age, they become even more inclined to stay put and refrain from venturing out. If you are a caregiver for your aging parent, now’s the time to get them out of the house for short stints at a time so they can take advantage of the fresh air benefits. Senior in-home services can help fill in the gaps when you can’t be there, providing companionship as necessary.
Here are some of the best advantages of fresh air, especially when it comes to senior citizens.
1. Quicker Healing
You can heal from an illness or injury faster with more time spent outdoors in the sun. In fact, studies show those exposed to longer periods of natural light can recover faster and experience less pain than those who have only been exposed to artificial light.
2. A Boost in Vitamin D
It’s called the “sunshine vitamin” for a reason. Vitamin D helps our blood regulate calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood, which is critical if we want to maintain strong, healthy bones. It can also ward off osteoporosis, depression and cancer. That being said, you should make sure their skin is protected when you know you will be outside for a prolonged period of time.
3. More Physical Activity
When outdoors, people tend to engage in physical activities (think: walking, gardening) more so than when stuck indoors.
4. More Social Opportunities
Getting outdoors allows seniors to have more opportunities to interact with others. Even just a quick exchange with the mailman or waving to a neighbor can boost self-esteem, self-confidence, happiness and positivity. These opportunities keep your senior from feeling out of touch and lonely, which may lead to depression.
5. Less Boredom
Even just sitting outside or taking a stroll around the block can give your senior the sensory stimulation from nature they need to keep boredom at bay.
6. Boost in Energy
Getting outside for fresh air daily not only improves their vitality but it infuses them with energy. They will also feel more alive and inspired when outside enjoying nature.
Tips to Get Your Senior Outside
We know, this can be much easier said than done, particularly if your aging parent, sibling or spouse has been resistant to change, has chronic pain or just can’t get around easily. Check out these simple suggestions to get them outdoors:
- Come up with an outdoor routine that may start with a simple walk out to the mailbox each day. This will improve their coordination, stamina and strength, plus it will make them feel useful.
- Suggest they sit and enjoy some coffee by an open window so they can feel the fresh air on their face. This may inspire them to venture outside later on.
- Suggest they sit in their covered patio, porch or a fenced-in back yard to do some reading and listen to the birds chirping.
- Plant a small garden or flower bed to attract butterflies.
- Install a bird feeder in the back yard so they can watch it through their window or porch. If they are open to that, suggest going for a walk around the neighborhood to see if they can spot more unique birds.
Contact Divine Home Care Services
Our household services, particularly our companionship services, will ensure your senior loved ones get the fresh air or exercise they need. To learn more, please contact us today.