There are many benefits to going outdoors, even for a short period of time. A senior and their caregiver can soak up some sunlight, and get some exposure to Vitamin D, which is good for a healthy brain, bones and muscles.
“Being outdoors provides mental and emotional benefits. It enables seniors to socialize with new people, take part in outdoor activities and provides opportunities for interacting with children and animals,” said Operations Manager Robert Bicanic of the Northbrook-based Senior Helpers office serving the north and northwest suburbs. “Outdoor activities can help rejuvenate seniors after the long winter.”
When selecting an activity focus on hobbies and interests that seniors used to enjoy. However, you can get creative and provide new options.
Catch a sporting event - Attend a grandchild’s soccer game or a professional baseball game. This may help your loved one reconnect with one of their favorite pastimes.
a tourist - If you are able, take an open-air bus or trolley tour to see local
sites. A drive around town will allow the your loved one to check out what is
happening in their community that interests them.
to the pool - Some seniors may just want to put their foot in the pool. Others
may be able to handle low-impact water aerobics. This is a good physical
activity for seniors with a relaxing workout.
lunch outside - Many restaurants have a patio where you can enjoy dining
outdoors. While you eat, you can take time watching the people coming by.
to the park - Most cities and suburbs have numerous public parks where you can
relax outside. Your caregiver can help you plan a family picnic with your kids
and grandkids. This is a great opportunity for family fun.
a local museum or garden - Museums have discounted tickets for seniors. Take
advantage of visiting special exhibits at the museums in your area. There are
also gardens that are a pleasure to the senses. Take advantage of them while
the weather is wonderful.
the zoo - If you haven’t been to the zoo in a while, it’s time to go. There are
new exhibits and animals to see. Wheelchairs are available so you don’t have to
worry about being unable to walk the grounds.
- Fish for fun - You can cast a rod at a lake, from a dock or pier. Some communities even stock their ponds with fish. Depending upon the senior’s mobility, some places have wheelchairs to help a senior get closer to the water.
Senior Helpers In-Home Caregivers is the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Affiliate Office. Their caregivers also work with many Parkinson patients as well. For more information or to arrange for a Free Assessment, call 847-564-7500 or contact us.