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The NSPA Blog

Accessible Ways to Enjoy Springtime

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Posted on April 2nd, 2019 by Sally Perkins, under Tips & Resources

Warm weather is right around the corner – let’s enjoy it!

Around 2 million seniors in the U.S. never or rarely leave their homes. Not only does this have significant implications for their physical health but it can also impact on their psychological well-being too. People who become confined to their homes as they get older are more likely to develop a mental illness such as depression and anxiety. But with spring finally here and summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to be outside, enjoy the mild weather and celebrate the beauty of nature. There are lots of ways that your older loved one can enjoy spending time outdoors comfortably and safely.  Here are just a few ways to help your senior loved one make the most of springtime.

Enjoy a picnic in the sunshine

Picnics can be enjoyed anywhere. From the park, the grounds of a senior care facility, to your own backyard at home. The benefit of choosing somewhere like a park is that it allows seniors to enjoy the busy atmosphere, watching children play and people pass by. It also allows an older immobile person to enjoy nature close to home. Without the stress of having to go far, they can enjoy watching the birds and other local wildlife. Furthermore, as most people tend to lose their appetite as they get older, a change of surroundings may even encourage them to eat. Make sure you pack your picnic basket with their favorite and familiar foods, alongside some new healthy treats for them to try.

Attend community events

Most areas regularly hold community events, so find out what’s happening in your area. Whether it’s Memorial Day concerts or Fourth of July parades, there are often special events taking place during the spring and summer months. It’s a great way to get seniors outside among other people. Perhaps meet up with other friends and family. Communities quite often put on various outdoor musical performances, art shows and festivals too. So look through the events section in the local newspaper and you will hopefully find some activities that your loved one will enjoy.

Go fishing

Fishing is a great activity for your senior loved one. Regardless of whether they’ve ever been fishing before or whether you are an experienced angler yourself, it’s a wonderful way to spend quality time outdoors. From casting and the inevitable waiting that follows, to finally reeling in your catch, it can offer a very soothing and calming experience for seniors. You can pretty much cast a rod from anywhere – a pier, dock or boat – which can be useful if your senior loved one uses a wheelchair or has limited mobility. Some areas do provide specific accessible fishing locations, while there are others who now offer all-terrain wheelchairs for rental, which can help your loved one get closer to the water.

Heading outdoors and enjoying nature’s wonders can make a huge difference to an older person with limited mobility. It encourages them to feel happier, become healthier, live longer and enjoy a more positive outlook on life. It may take a little extra planning, but the benefits will make it all worth it.

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