The days are slowly getting longer, the winter thaw is upon us, and yes, that means spring is in the air! More than likely, the first thing that comes to mind when we think of spring is the desire to get outside and enjoy the warming weather, chirping birds, and plentiful outdoor activities. Older adults are no exception, and a considerable benefit to receiving care at home is the flexibility to enjoy some time outdoors. Countless activities can allow senior adults to reap the benefits of breathing the fresh air and getting that vital exposure to the sunlight for a good dose of Vitamin D. Listed below are just some of the activities that can get your older adult outdoors this spring, which can be a huge boost to not just their physical, but their overall mental health as well.
Start an Outdoor Exercise Routine
This activity would be tailored to your client’s strength and mobility limitations, but getting geriatric adults outside in the fresh air and getting their blood pumping is highly beneficial to their overall health. Activities like a slow walk or sitting in the sunshine while using light weights for arm and leg strengthening can improve their physical well-being. Just a small amount of physical activity by an older adult can strengthen bones and muscles, lower blood pressure, and improve strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance. As with any changes to routine, make sure the activity is cleared with the client’s medical professionals, and make sure that they stay hydrated during any time outdoors with increased physical activity.
Starting a small garden outdoors can be an enjoyable and beneficial activity for many seniors. Many older adults who love to garden are excited for spring to come so they can start tending to their plants. Whether it’s something more ambitious, like raised flower beds, or more straightforward, like potted herbs, gardening is a fantastic hobby for older adults. It is perfect for seniors with mobility problems, as gardens can be modified to specific heights, and many plants can be planted in pots or raised beds. Gardening also serves as a form of physical activity with pulling weeds and planting seeds. And lastly, gardening has been known to decrease stress levels and can give older adults a sense of purpose and accomplishment when they get to experience the reward of seeing the plants they cared for so carefully thrive.
Welcome the Birds
Springtime means the return of many migrating bird species, and plenty of activities for geriatric adults can revolve around this fun development. For those that enjoy crafts, making a simple birdfeeder to hang in the yard (preferably visible from some windows in the home) benefits both the senior and the birds. And if you aren’t the crafty type, purchasing a pre-made bird feeder works just as well and can bring hours of exciting interaction that can be enjoyed outdoors or from a comfortable spot near a window indoors. Learning about different bird species and the various foods and plants that attract those species can be a stimulating and fulfilling hobby that can be enjoyed during the spring and summer.
Take advantage of the warm weather to open windows and air out spaces. Depending on mobility, some light cleaning or organizing while enjoying springtime breezes can be productive for seniors. Even if it’s just sorting through and organizing photos or collectibles, some simple tidying up and preparing for a fresh, new season can do wonders for mental health.
These are just a few of the many activities that a geriatric adult can enjoy this spring. Be creative in modifying activities to health and mobility restrictions and get out there and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine!