What should you know about caring for an older person? It’s a loaded question, but what most people don’t think of straight away is the importance of nature for older people and how being surrounded by nature can be hugely beneficial to their health.
Getting outside once a day can be enough to improve mood, appetite, energy levels, and the general wellbeing of older people.
According to medical professionals, getting outdoors once a day can reduce depression and anxiety, which can have an impact on physical health as well.
Living Their Best Life
People who live in assisted living complexes that have nature around them report being happier and healthier, and the staff corroborates these findings too. Facilities such as the Brandywine assisted living Colt’s Next NJ pride themselves on their natural surroundings that help their elderly residents feel more comfortable and happier.
In short, nature helps older people live healthier lives, and this evidence doesn’t just apply to people over the age of 75 – it applies broadly, all across the adult lifespan.
Here are five reasons why nature is good for older people and why you should encourage your elderly friends or relatives to get outside more often:
Nature is Calming
Being surrounded by nature can make older adults feel calmer and more relaxed, and this is precisely why it’s so important to get outdoors once a day or to visit a park regularly.
There are numerous studies that show how being in nature helps reduce anxiety, depression, and stress, and science is now strongly suggesting that getting outside can be one of the most effective ways of combating the signs of aging.
Nature is Good for the Brain
The human brain can become less efficient over time. This is because our neuronal pathways become more convoluted with age, and it’s tougher to fire off the required neurons.
However, researchers are now discovering that it’s possible to “rewire” the brain so that it can produce new neuronal pathways.
Studies have found that older adults who spent time in nature made new neural connections.
Nature Can Be a Sensory Activity
Experts have identified a number of ways that nature can boost the senses.
For example, scientists have shown that being in nature makes you a better listener and helps you appreciate music. It seems our brains are set up to be able to interpret and respond to sound in the environment, and this is what most of us hear when we’re in nature.
Nature Can Be a Learning Activity
One of the most exciting things about being in nature is that it allows you to learn from your surroundings. This can be done by observing animals, plants, and the environment as a whole, and even communicate with it if you feel so inclined.
Nature has been shown to increase people’s ability to think more creatively when they have to solve problems and how they interact with others, great for keeping elderly brains active and sharp!
Nature Can Help Provide Elderly People with a Sense of Purpose
As people get older, they start to lose their sense of purpose. However, if they are involved in gardening, conservation groups, or local environmental groups, it can help them retain their sense of purpose.