Nature exposure has been proven to be so important for physical and mental health, both of which can be a concern for seniors. Unfortunately, for many older adults, it can be difficult to access nature and explore the outdoors. Barriers may include being limited to their bed or house for health reasons, living in an urban environment with less natural environments, inclement weather like snow, heat, smoke, and mobility limitations. Even if one cannot access the natural world outdoors, there are still ways to reap the benefits it brings.
Exposure to natural elements has a number of health benefits. Getting out and engaging with nature, whether the forest, beach, or your own backyard, generally includes some level of physical activity as well as fresh air and sunshine. There is also a marked increase in mental health associated with experiencing nature including lower stress levels, a decreased risk of depression and anxiety, improved cognitive function, and a sense of mental restoration. These mental health benefits are associated with even more positive changes to physical health like decreased blood pressure, increased energy and immunity, and even a decreased mortality rate. For those unable to get out into the natural world regularly, there are some ways to reap these benefits associated with nature from the comfort of your own home.
How to bring nature home
Interact with nature
- Install garden boxes indoors or outside if possible to get actively engaged with cultivating nature.
- Countertop herbs are another easy way to grow something simple with minimal space and care.
- House plants are another easy way to bring nature indoors. There are so many varieties and many have low care requirements.
Exposure to Nature
- Fresh bouquets can bring in bright color and wonderful smells.
- Indoor fountains bring the soothing sound of water indoors.
- Scents from diffusers create a natural atmosphere.
- Bird feeders will bring nature right to your window.
- Aquariums of any size are another option for those who enjoy water.
- If you are looking for a new living situation, remember to look for places with trees and greenery around for a more nature-based environment.
- Pictures of nature or nature-based art up on the walls, especially of favorite places, plants, or animals can personalize their living space.
- Nature sounds are very calming and relaxing, especially when paired with white noise.
- Nature documentaries or live streams of places around the globe can bring an active nature scene right into your living area so you can feel like you are exploring from the safety of your home.
At CJ & Associates Care Consulting we value supporting your loved one’s continued health. Contact us today for more information.