When seniors are physically able to get out of the house, they should take advantage of the fresh air and surroundings as often as possible. The Westport home care experts at Home Care Assistance discuss 4 benefits that might come your senior loved one’s way if he or she ventures outside on a regular basis.
1. Vitamin D Synthesis
Vitamin D is especially important for seniors because painful degenerative bone disorders like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis can worsen without it. Natural sunlight helps the body synthesize vitamin D, and it may be better for an elderly person than taking vitamin D supplements. Explain to your loved one that only a few minutes of being outdoors on a sunny day can increase circulation levels of vitamin D in his or her body, which provides numerous health benefits.
2. Exposure to Nature
Elderly people sometimes experience depression, anxiety, and cognitive deficits. Exposure to nature can help boost your loved one’s mood and provide a sense of wellbeing and peace. Looking at trees, flowers, animals, and grass helps the brain produce chemicals known as endorphins, or “feel good” chemicals. The release of these chemicals in the brain may also result in pain relief for older adults with chronic pain disorders.
3. Cardiovascular Benefits
Being outdoors in the fresh air may help boost your loved one’s cardiovascular health. Pollutants in indoor air can irritate the lungs and even make the heart work harder. Remind your loved one that being outdoors can enhance his or her overall health, facilitate breathing, and even lower the heart rate. Coupled with mild exercise, fresh air can have a dramatically positive effect on chronic pain, including the angina pain often associated with the heart and circulation conditions common in the elderly.
4. Knee Pain Relief
Going outside may be just what your loved one needs to restore mobility to arthritic knees. Walking and other forms of light exercise can also help reduce systemic inflammation and eliminate knee and hip pain, morning stiffness, and swelling of the kneecaps. Though walking indoors can provide benefits as well, outdoor walking allows seniors the opportunity to enjoy nature, breathe fresh air, see other people, and experience a change of scenery.
Make sure your loved one has the support he or she needs to enjoy spending time outdoors. Contact Home Care Assistance to find out about our expertly trained caregivers who can assist with mobility, provide transportation, and help with a wide variety of daily household tasks. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care Westport families trust. To learn more, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 203-955-1915 today.