Summer is officially here! Now is the time for the senior in your life to be outdoors enjoying the warm sun and fresh air. With increased vitamin D and socialization with family, friends and/or nature, being outside can help improve and maintain the mental and physical health of a senior. Here are some senior-friendly activities that you and your loved one can enjoy while outdoors.
There is something satisfying about preparing a meal with fruits and vegetables picked fresh from the garden. Gardening is a great activity for seniors as it can be done at any pace or intensity. It can also provide seniors with a great sense of accomplishment or satisfaction. The key to this activity is keeping it manageable. Be mindful of the physical limits of your loved one and ensure they are not overexerting or overwhelming themselves.
Picnic in the Park
Picnics in the park are one of the true joys of summer. They don’t require much planning or preparation and are a great way for you to spend quality time with your loved one. Grab a blanket, pack a light lunch or snack, bring a good book to read and head to the local park to enjoy some time with nature.
Birdwatching, the practice of observing birds in their natural environment, is increasingly becoming a popular hobby among seniors. This activity is great for seniors who are introverted or extroverted as it can be done alone or in a group. It is a wonderful way to connect with nature and learn more about our avian friends.
Golfing is a game of patience and concentration. It is a great sport for the body and mind; the walking and swinging keeps the heart rate up which in turn promotes blood flow to the brain. Turn golfing into a friendly challenge for you and your loved one. Try challenging each other to a better score every time. Most importantly, remember to have fun!
If the activities listed above are not possible, your loved one can enjoy the outdoors by simply taking a walk. Walking is relatively low-impact and can improve cardiovascular health. Always go at a pace that is comfortable for your loved one, stop and take a break if they are experiencing any pain or discomfort.
Being outdoors can have tremendous benefits for individuals of all ages. Take advantage of the great weather and plan a few outdoor activities for you and your loved one this week. As with any new activity, consult with a doctor to see if these activities are the right fit for your loved one.
Amy Chan is a Communications Coordinator at Spectrum Health Care. Spectrum Health Care is Ontario’s leading provider of client-centred health care services, offering a variety of health care solutions which include: nursing, personal and home support, foot care, physiotherapy, health education and corporate wellness. Spectrum Health Care is part of the Spectrum suite of companies which include: Seniors for Seniors, Spectrum Patient Services and Spectrum Event Medical Services.