As a caregiver to a person with Alzheimer’s, it can be hard to find activities to enjoy with them. While their past favorites may come to mind, it isn’t always feasible to partake in them at this point in their life.
However, some of the best adventures to embark on with your loved ones are fulfilled outdoors in nature. While this may surprise some, being outdoors has many benefits for seniors with Alzheimer’s. With our Michigan summer in full swing, continue reading to learn how time in the great outdoors can be some of the best medicine.
Some of the benefits of nature are the same across the broad spectrum of human life. Being outdoors can provide a change of scenery that brings a sense of calm to your everyday activity. This act is beneficial in the same way for those in senior living facilities and with Alzheimer’s.
Even if it’s just a few minutes, access to fresh air and natural elements can decrease anxiety and elevate a person’s mood. It’s a simple activity to implement that comes with a positive outcome.
Some studies correlate tasks like gardening to a decrease in memory impairment symptoms. While this isn’t the case for everyone, the relief of symptoms can increase happiness in patients and alleviate some level of strain on their mental health.
In addition to gardening, packing a picnic lunch and sitting on the ground to enjoy it can have short-term benefits for those with Alzheimer’s. For those who use a wheelchair, enjoying lunch at a picnic table can have a similar effect.
Even participation in simple outdoor tasks like a brief walk or refilling a bird feeder can get a person’s blood pumping and their heart rate up. As a result, physical health benefits can show through.
While it can be challenging for individuals with mobility restrictions to participate in many of these tasks, even the movement associated with watering plants can benefit those who don’t often exert themselves physically.
For a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, it is easy to fall into a space of depression. Many individuals find themselves retreating to their room or personal space and limiting their interaction with others.
Being outdoors with other people gives extra opportunities to socialize. Even a brief conversation with another person can turn someone’s day around.
Many individuals with Alzheimer’s find themselves going from a fulfilling and productive life to one in which they are limited in where they can go and what they can do. Taking a stroll through town without a clear plan is an opportunity for them to get out and see what’s happening outside of the four walls they live within.
Whether it’s stopping to smell the flowers or checking out what’s for sale at the Farmer’s Market, just having the opportunity to explore can increase the enjoyment they experience daily.
Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia can be challenging for many. If you are in this position and are looking for help or direction, you can learn more about Vibrant Life Senior Living Memory Care on our website.