Just because an elderly person is experiencing physical decline doesn’t mean they want to stay at home all the time. Community parks are designed to facilitate people’s interactions with each other and with nature. When seniors get outdoors and spend time at their local park with their home care provider, they benefit in many ways, both physically and mentally.
Here are just a few of the benefits that frequent park attendance brings to elderly adults that live at home:
1. Boosts Mood.
Studies show a strong relationship between outdoor activities and reduced levels of depression. Even having a home care provider attend a senior in their wheelchair while enjoying a park provides great mood-boosting benefits. Day to day life can be mundane for elderly adults, especially those that aren’t very mobile. Positive mental health comes from watching people, breathing fresh air and getting up close with nature.
2. More Physical Activity.
Whether seniors take a quick stroll or spend a lot of time walking around the park, they are getting some exercise in. More physical activity has been linked to a reduced risk of health problems, dementia, and chronic illnesses. As they get more physically active, their body benefits from improved circulation, better balance, stronger muscles, and a better immune system.
3. Better Sleep.
Seniors often struggle with sleep, but when they engage in exercise outdoors, they are more likely to reach a deeper and more restful state while sleeping. Good sleep leads to health and vitality, so seniors should head to the park every chance they get
4. More Socializing.
Taking regular trips to the park with a home care provider gives seniors a chance to talk to many people, old and young. It can be lonely staying home all the time but hanging out at the park exposes seniors to all kinds of people.
5. Increased Health.
Several studies link outdoor exposure to a healthier mind and body. The body makes vitamin D when exposed to sunshine and being outdoors can increase white blood cells. Being outdoors can also help boost the immune system, recover from injuries more quickly and increase the appetite. Add these to the overall health benefits of outdoor activity and it’s easy to see why many seniors should spend more time in parks.
Unfortunately, there are many challenges that seniors face in getting to their neighborhood park. Physical limitations and obstacles can leave seniors with the desire to get outside, but not the ability. Home care providers are an excellent resource when it comes to getting seniors outdoors. These professionals can assist elderly adults in planning regular walks at the local parks. Because of all the benefits of frequent outings to the park, elderly adults and family caregivers should make such excursions a real priority.