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Why time outdoors benefits health of elderly people

There is a lot of scientific evidence to prove that being outdoors connected with nature has positive effects on our health and wellbeing. Spending time close to nature improves our mood and outlook on life. Just being outdoors in our own garden is healthy to both mind and body helping older people improve wellness and functioning for longer.

The many advantages of getting outdoors

  • Reduces negative thoughts
  • Boosts mental and physical well being
  • Improves memory
  • Strengthens immunity and reduces inflammation – any contact with nature will help rates of recovery and feeling of wellness
  • Sunlight generates vitamin D which is essential to maintaining healthy bones and reducing the incidence of heart disease
  • Helps maintain a good sleep pattern and lifts the mood
  • The smell from flowers have been proven to decrease stress and increase relaxation
  • Important for healthy ageing and slows the onset of dementia, cancer, heart problems and osteoporosis (degenerative bone disease). The authors of an Open University research paper entitled ‘The impact of early dementia on outdoor life: a shrinking world?’ claim that “maintaining an outdoor activity is likely to have an effective preventative measure in extending the period of good quality living”.
  • A 12-year study in Sweden found that active hobbies, such as gardening or doing DIY, can cut the risk of heart disease and strokes in elderly people by up to 30 per cent
  • Research also showed that gardening can help dementia and stroke patients improve social skills and confidence.

There are so many activities that can be done outdoors in one’s own garden such as pot planting, pruning back hedges and evergreen plants, maintaing the borders of flower beds, bird feeding and watering the garden during the summer months. Light gardening keeps you flexible, helps improve balance, mobility and dexterity.

Home care support to help you get outdoors

Most older people are aware of the benefits of connecting with nature but may not have the confidence to get out in to the garden or to go for a walk to a local park. Home care is a service available where care workers will come to your home for set periods of time on a regular basis to support older people who want to continue living in their own home. A walk to the local community centre or to the park on a regular basis can do so much for healthy mind body and soul.

Call Novus Care today to discuss your home care requirements.

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