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How Do Aging Adults Benefit from Being Outside?

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If your senior loved one spends little time outdoors, he or she may be missing out on many health benefits. Going outside provides important physical and psychological benefits. Here are some reasons your loved one should go outside more often.

Enhance Mood

Seniors who spend plenty of time outside may have a reduced risk of anxiety and depression. It’s thought that exposure to nature boosts mood while relieving stress and negative thinking. If your loved one seems sad, anxious, or depressed, suggest taking a walk outside. The smells of nature, fresh air, and scenery changes may put your loved one in a more positive frame of mind. 

Mental and emotional challenges are common for many aging adults, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In Winnipeg, home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Promote Vitamin D Production

Older adults who don’t spend enough time outdoors may be at risk for a vitamin D deficiency. Exposure to natural sunlight helps the body manufacture vitamin D, which keeps the bones strong and resistant to fractures in the event of a fall. Also, low levels of vitamin D may contribute to depression, anxiety, and skin problems. If your loved one is unable to tolerate dairy products, which are rich in vitamin D, spending more time outside in the sunlight may satisfy the recommended daily allowance for this essential nutrient. 

If you usually help your loved one get out and about but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Winnipeg families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.

Get Restful Sleep

Many seniors complain of insomnia. Poor sleep quality may be the result of medication side effects, chronic pain, and a sedentary lifestyle. Spending more time outdoors in the fresh air promotes restorative sleep so aging adults can feel more energized the next day. Poor sleep quality and insomnia may also contribute to lactic acid buildup in the muscles, which can worsen existing pain. If your loved one is unable to sleep, spending time outdoors may eliminate the need for sleep medications, which can have significant side effects, such as dizziness, confusion, blurred vision, constipation, and dry mouth.

Increase Mobility

Older adults with joint pain or limited mobility are often hesitant to exercise inside the home. Exercising alone or in the same environment day after day can become boring, quickly causing seniors to lose interest. Conversely, engaging in physical activity outdoors in a natural environment is stimulating and mood enhancing. Your loved one might enjoy taking up a new outdoor hobby such as gardening, which may boost his or her self-esteem, promote physical activity, increase oxygen levels, and enhance range of motion. If your loved one is unable or unwilling to take up gardening, a more sedentary hobby such as bird-watching may be more appealing. While a less strenuous outdoor pastime may not increase your loved one’s activity level as much as gardening, it still provides many of the other  health benefits of being outdoors.

Seniors with mobility issues or health conditions who need assistance getting outdoors can benefit from the help of trained professional caregivers. Winnipeg senior home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (204) 489 6000.