It can be difficult to find fun outdoor activities in older age, which is why seniors are bounded to their beds or sofas. Mobility and movement have benefits to the human body because the blood keeps pumping this way throughout the body and the joints also remain healthy. This is why people of all ages need to take part in outdoor activities in order to improve their health and lifestyle.
In addition to this, going outside promotes socializing and encourages light exercising, which are both essential parts for healthy senior lifestyle. There are several fun outdoor activities that seniors can do and enjoy as well. However, make sure to double-check with the seniors that if they are comfortable going outside and performing certain activity.
Benefits of Outdoor Activities for Seniors:
Sun is a good source of Vitamin D, and when you go outdoors, you are not just moving and enjoying but also getting a good dose of Vitamin D, which is vital for health.
Seniors who are mobile and perform different activities like gardening, cycling, walking, etc. are generally doing a low impact and very safe type of exercise. Doing these activities pump their blood throughout the body, keeping them healthy.
It is fairly common knowledge that if you exercise during the day, you will usually sleep better at night.
It is not likely that every time you go outdoors, you will engage with people, but getting outside where there are many others, increases your chances to interact and socialize with people, providing a good opportunity to make friends.
Strong Immune System
A lot of studies have shown that being outdoors can boost our overall immune system. For more information on this, click here to check out a study in Japan on “forest bathing” and its benefits.
Here is the list of some top outdoor activities for seniors:
Fishing is considered as one of the best exercises for seniors because it doesn’t demand much physical activity, and people of all ages can do it. Fishing doesn’t just provide seniors with a good activity to do but also allows them to walk away with something healthy for dinner. There are several great fishing points around the country; you can find the perfect fishing spot for your elderly loved one to spend their time with their family and friends because having a good company during these fishing trips is essential as well.
Gardening is one of the most popular outdoor activities for seniors because they like to be close with the soothing nature and gardening is the best way to achieve this. Gardening allows seniors to perform a light aerobic activity that is beneficial and can easily be incorporated into the daily routine. Also, gardening is a fun activity because planting flowers and vegetables in the yard enable elders to look after them and spend their time in doing something healthy and productive.
However, gardening for seniors should be more of an activity or hobby than a duty. So, if the garden is large, you should provide seniors with some assistance.
Strolling around the park or neighborhood provides a good opportunity for seniors to socialize and make new friends, get fresh air, etc. Additionally, having a good company while walking is important as well because it prevents this healthy activity from getting monotonous.
Golfing is a professional sport, but it is also considered as a favorite pastime for many seniors. The skills, patience, and focus needed to play this sport are immense and challenging, which is appreciated by seniors.
While it may seem like bird watching is more of a time-wasting and less exciting activity, but for seniors, it can be really beneficial in relaxing their minds. This is the best activity for seniors who like to enjoy and connect closely with nature. Bird watching is also very soothing and therapeutic.
People of all ages love doing photography of different types. If your elderly one loves to hear the birds singing and admires the beauty of nature, it can be fun for them to capture those moments on camera and treasure them forever. Seniors can capture birds, wildlife, roaring ocean tides, the stars, and sunrises and sunsets. All your elderly loved one needs to perform this activity is a decent camera.
Outdoor Theater / Music
If your elderly loved one enjoys music and theatre, then they can spend quality time on small music events or outdoor theatre showings that are organized by local organizations. Bring some snacks that you and the senior like and a blanket, so you guys can enjoy the sounds and amazing scenery.
Metal detecting is a great way to spend quality time outdoors doing something productive. This outdoor activity can be both fun and rewarding at the same time. You and your senior can do metal detecting at the beach, backyard, or the park. A metal detector can be used to hunt for coins, scrap metal and different metallic objects.
Fruit picking isn’t just a refreshing outdoor activity but tasty as well. Your elderly loved one can get fresh air while picking the ripe fruits. This way, they will also be partaking in mild exercise. If you and the senior live in a more agricultural area, you can take him/her to the nearest small berry farms along with a basket to pick berries.
Nothing can be more enjoyable than picnics with your lovely family members and friends. You can combine this activity with other activities mentioned above for more fun. Choose the best destination that is both soothing and enjoying so your elderly loved one can spend quality time, leaving all their worries behind.
Outdoor Craft Shows
If your senior loves art, this outdoor activity will definitely make them feel good. Outdoor craft shows include fun scenery, lively activities, and provide great opportunities to see some beautiful pieces of art. Your elderly loved one might even be able to make their own art!
There are plenty of games that seniors can play in the yard, including:
- Frisbee target toss
Archery isn’t just another fun outdoor activity but good for health too. It can strengthen your elderly loved one’s upper body muscles and boost their hand-eye coordination. No worries if the senior is bounded to a wheelchair because most outdoor archery facilities have platforms and ramps that are wheelchair-friendly. Also, adaptive archery equipment is available for seniors who are not able to draw back the bow.
Boat rides are all about fresh air and amazing scenery while on the water. Though it doesn’t involve any physical activity, your elderly loved one can have a relaxing experience on a lake or an ocean.
Outdoor Activities for the Elderly in Wheelchairs
Not all the seniors are able to move, and if your elderly one is a wheelchair user, here are some best outdoor activities that they can enjoy:
Dining and Entertainment
If the senior is a food lover, you can take him out on a diner, coffee shops, or movie theatres. They can also enjoy outdoor live theatre that is hosted by the town’s local organizations for their people to have fun.
Places like farmer markets, specialty grocery stores, malls, indoor flea markets, party stores, etc. are the best places for wheelchair users to do shopping. Your elderly loved one can find new things to explore and can easily spend at least an hour of quality time.
Yes, watching stars won’t provide the benefit of vitamin D, but you and your elderly loved one can set up a telescope for star watching and enjoy the amazing scenery.
Outdoor Activities for Seniors with Dementia
Dementia and Alzheimer’s is the most common disease that most seniors have, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy outdoor activities. Here are some of the best outdoor activities that they can enjoy:
According to an article by Alzheimers.net, a well-timed pet visit can help with depression and anxiety. Hence it is very therapeutic for seniors with dementia, especially if they used to own a pet when they were healthy. Visiting pet farms and pet stores can be a great thing if your senior loved one loves pets.
Outdoor activities can be great for your senior loved ones’ health because they are stuck in their homes, restricted to their bed, sofa, or wheelchair, and don’t have any physical activity to perform. Going outdoors won’t just encourage them to do light exercises but also allow them to socialize and get fresh air. All the outdoor activities that we have mentioned above in our article are best for seniors and can enable them to enjoy their time while still being in their comfort zone.