There’s no doubt that spending time in nature is good for the soul. There’s nothing more tranquil than that unique sense of peace you feel when in a place of natural beauty. Numerous studies have proven that these feel-good effects can significantly boost elderly health and wellbeing, particularly when you immerse yourself in nature regularly.
From lowering your stress levels and blood pressure to boosting your ability to cope with adversity, the benefits of getting outdoors in the natural world are many and varied. As we age and experience a natural decline in our mental and physical health, these benefits take on even more significance and can be genuinely life-changing.
One of the benefits of Aged Care (including Respite Care) with TriCare is that providing beautiful and accessible natural environments is a high priority in all of our residences. Many of our communities are surrounded by stunning natural scenery, and our grounds have been carefully designed to ensure maximum enjoyment of the outdoors. This article shares some of the simple but important ways nature enhances wellbeing in Aged Care residents.
Nature can improve mental health
Spending time outdoors, surrounded by the beauty of nature, is important for elderly health and wellbeing, including its restorative effect on mental health. Walking is particularly beneficial as you get the double benefit of exercising and spending time in the sun, but even sitting near trees or by a river can lower stress, reduce anxiety, relieve depression and boost your happiness. This is significant for older Australians. Many who experience depression or anxiety are reluctant to seek help as they don’t want to be a burden or feel there is a stigma attached. Having nature on their doorstep can make a huge difference to daily life.
Spending time outdoors can boost your memory
The sense of peace found sitting quietly in nature has been likened to meditation by some experts. With recent studies showing just 10 minutes of daily mindfulness meditation improves cognitive function and additional studies also linking nature experience to improved cognition, the benefits of taking the time to sit quietly in nature are clear. Whether it’s the routine of enjoying a morning cuppa in the garden, or taking a daily walk around the lake, spending regular time outdoors is an easy and enjoyable way to boost your concentration and memory. One of the benefits of Aged Care is the reminder to keep getting out there, and the social aspect of enjoying it with friends.
Natural surroundings can increase physical activity
Outside, there are many opportunities to be active, from a leisurely walk to pottering in the garden, and we encourage our residents to enjoy physical activity outdoors at a level that matches their ability and level of health. This is true for those in permanent Aged Care and also for those in Respite Care. The double benefit of fresh air and movement can do wonders for our physical and mental state of being. Even a small thing like a short daily walk can help to offset illness and maintain physical ability.
Nature is a great place to get social
With many older people living independently, getting outside is a great way to meet up with others and enjoy a social chat. One of the benefits of Aged Care with TriCare is that our grounds have been designed with plenty of spaces to catch up with others, and we find that the sense of community is much more obvious in the shared communal outdoor spaces.
This connection is an important aspect of elderly health and wellbeing, as feeling like we belong to a support network has been linked to increased positive mental and physical health. Our residents feel proud of their gardens and enjoy being amongst the trees, plants and flowers all lovingly maintained by our grounds team. It’s also a great conversation starter, as many residents have been keen gardeners throughout their life and enjoy talking about the changing seasons in the garden.
Nature never goes out of style
While life is constantly changing, our love for nature remains as strong as ever. Having easy access to green spaces is beneficial to our health at every stage of life, particularly as we get older. We recognise and embrace this within all of our Aged Care Residences, with a strong focus on creating and maintaining beautiful outdoor areas, and also encouraging and assisting our residents in getting out and enjoying the outdoors as often as possible.
Would you like to know more about daily life in our Aged Care communities or find out about Aged Care Residences located close to you? Get in touch with our team for an informal chat, or book a free Aged Care consultation call today.