Today’s generation is inside on a screen keeping up with the latest social media trends, but the generations of yesteryear are more attuned to a slower pace and outdoor activities. Think back to your childhood; remember riding your bike on warm summer days or having popsicles on the porch with neighborhood friends? The great outdoors offers fun, adventure, peace, and relaxation—even for older adults.
Encourage your loved one to spend more time outside for Great Outdoors Month this June. The subtropical North Texas climate is the perfect place for year-round access to beautiful outdoor scenery and activities. Whether you take a walk in a neighborhood, hike a trail, swim in a lake, or birdwatch from a patio, the outdoors offers a range of health benefits, especially for seniors.
Time Outdoors Impacts Senior Health
Evolving research suggests that exposure to nature and spending time outside provides various health benefits such as increased brain health and a more defined sense of well-being. Nature does more than lift your spirits; it betters your overall health. Advantages to spending time outdoors include an increase in:
- Vitamin D: Low levels of Vitamin D are linked to muscle and bone pain, inflammation, and increased risk of Type 1 diabetes and arthritis. Just 15 minutes outside helps seniors receive the recommended dose of Vitamin D and reduces the risk of many physical ailments.
- Energy: Mental fatigue is common among seniors and can be reduced by therapeutic environments like the outdoors. Being outside brings peace and awe—resulting in more energy.
- Brain Health: Seniors that spend time outside experience lower levels of depression, stress, and anxiety. One study found a 20% improvement in attention span and memory after one hour in nature, allowing seniors to function at a higher level in daily life. Experts suggest that seniors that are physically unable to participate in outdoor activities can still benefit from simply sitting outside and enjoying new scenery, fresh air, and wildlife.
- Connectedness: The outdoors promotes social interaction, connectedness, and a release of common feelings among seniors, such as isolation and boredom. Time outside can be spent with loved ones or participating in an activity where new connections can be made.
Seniors often feel “stuck” because their health is declining, or they have limited mobility and cannot explore like they once did. Getting outside in any way makes an impact on senior health. Listening to flowing water, sitting in a breeze, or watching a birdfeeder provides some mental and physical activity and can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and types of dementia. It might seem simple, but nature is powerful and can make a significant impact on your loved one’s well-being.
Outdoor Adventures at Tribute Senior Living
Our community takes a science-based approach to design programs that directly impact our residents’ overall health, well-being, and enjoyment.
Tribute Senior Living is situated in a tranquil, rural area with many outdoor activities while still offering quick access to North Dallas communities like Frisco, Allen, and McKinney. Residents can take advantage of outdoor amenities, including:
- Gardening: Not only do we have relaxing Zen gardens, but we also offer hands-on gardening activities. Residents can grow and take care of different herbs, flowers, and vegetables year-round in our greenhouse.
- Sitting areas: We have several outdoor courtyards and covered atriums for residents to sit and take in the fresh air and visit with friends and family. The covered atriums filter sun to keep residents from burning and are equipped with a special fan system to allow maximum airflow. Our atriums also have raised plant beds so that residents can stay cool and garden comfortably.
- Putting Green: Our putt-putt golf is a fun outdoor activity that also provides some physical activity. Residents can enjoy a game with friends and family anytime they want.
- Walking Trails: Our new 5 Mile a Week walking program encourages residents to get outside and walk on our beautiful trails or around our community.
Throughout the year, we plan fun events to encourage our residents to spend time outdoors. This month, we had a special visit from MiniEncounters, a nonprofit organization that provides equine therapy with trained mini horses. Our residents gathered outside to spend time with these loving animals, and everyone had a blast.
Our programs, special events, and outdoor amenities allow residents to free themselves from everyday burdens and focus on being the best they can be by engaging in different activities that nourish them physically, emotionally, and socially. Encourage your loved one to get outside and soak up the restorative benefits of the great outdoors in a way that suits their needs and abilities.
Contact us for more information about our outdoor adventures and amenities.