Summer Fun: Outdoor Activities for Seniors

July 24, 2023

Being outside is excellent for mood and emotional stability. Being outdoors gives seniors the chance to socialize, meet new people, take pets for a walk, etc. Getting outside encourages light exercise, which is an important part of health living in the elderly. It also gives them the chance to soak up fresh sunshine, which can improve physical and emotional health. 

When selecting an outdoor activity to do with your loved one or client this Summer, focus on hobbies and interests that they have enjoyed in the past and get creative with new options they might find fun and rewarding. Here are some suggestions from True Care:

Have a picnic: Picnics are a flexible activity that can be planned at a park, in a backyard, or on the surrounding grounds of a long-term care facility. At the park, seniors can watch children run around and enjoy the buzz of outdoor activity. Make sure to locate an area with comfortable seating and plenty of shade in advance, or remember to bring your own such as an umbrella or tent.

Take a nice stroll: If a walk is possible, start slow and work up to longer outings. Consider bringing along a walker or wheelchair in case your loved one gets tired and needs to rest along the way or requires help getting back. For seniors, walking is an effective way to reduce the risk for chronic conditions and improve overall health. It’s a low impact way for seniors of all ages to improve cardiovascular fitness and strengthen muscles and bones.

Have an outdoor treat: Most seniors have a favorite snack or restaurant that picks their spirits right up. Instead of limiting this indulgence to special occasions or the post-doctor’s appointment routine, make an outing out of it just because. This could consist of getting an ice cream cone from the local parlor or deli, a coffee and pastry from a favorite breakfast spot, or a lunch special from the diner around the corner. If possible, enjoy the goodies outside as well.

Gardening: Gardening is a great way for seniors to stay active and maintain strength and flexibility. This light aerobic activity is very beneficial and can be incorporated easily into a daily routine. Gardening requires regular and continuous care; therefore, it provides opportunities for increased physical activity, which can prevent osteoporosis, reduce the risk of some cancers, Type 2 diabetes, depression and heart disease. Additionally, taking care of their plant can  provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment for some seniors. 

Bird Watching: While birdwatching can sometimes be seen as a less exciting activity, it can really be beneficial in calming the mind and allowing for reflection. Birdwatching offers a range of sensory stimulation and memory exercises for older adults. Observing small visual details, noticing patterns in animal behavior, and listening closely to bird songs all help to engage their brain. This is a great activity for seniors who wish to enjoy and connect with nature. 

Photography: Photography is a great activity for the elderly because it motivates them to spend time outside and go chasing that perfect photo. It’s an intellectual and artistic activity that they can learn about and get better at over time. It’s important for seniors to keep finding ways to express themselves over time.This is a hobby that requires investment, but the equipment is half the fun of becoming a photographer and it will help you pass the time when you’re not out there snapping pictures.

Summing it up:

For seniors, one of the main benefits of spending short times outdoors is just the time in the sunshine. Vitamin D is boosted by sunlight and that helps brain function, muscle strength, and even bone health. It’s important to remember that older adults are more sensitive to temperature changes and tend to have a weakened thirst mechanism. With each of these activities, be sure to watch your loved one for signs of fatigue, dehydration, sunburn, and overheating that could signal it’s time to leave, perhaps with a promise to return at another time. For more tips on activities with patients and loved ones, or for caregiver assistance, contact True Care!


The information in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen. 

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