Having a senior loved one who is a homebody poses a few challenges for helping him or her stay healthy. While you know your loved one needs to get outside a little each day, he or she may need some encouragement. Make sure to share these six benefits of getting some outside time to help your loved one see the point in stepping beyond the front door.
1. Increase Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D deficiencies become more common in the senior years because older adults tend to shun the sun. The human body requires small amounts of sunlight to produce vitamin D, which means your loved one needs to get outside for at least 15 minutes each day. Spending time in the sun boosts energy levels and retains bone mass so your loved one is less likely to develop osteoporosis.
2. Ease the Symptoms of Depression
Sunlight also promotes a better mood. Seniors who sit inside all day may start to ruminate on negative thoughts. However, it’s almost impossible to be in a bad mood when surrounded by the beauty of natural sunlight in an outdoor environment. The power of sunlight is so effective at lifting depression that people use light therapy to ease the symptoms of mood disorders that occur with the seasons.
Mental and emotional challenges are common for many aging adults, but they don’t have to manage them alone. In Portland, senior home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Align Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
3. Promote More Restful Sleep
Sitting in a dark and dreary house for days on end upsets the internal body clock. Every person’s body relies on exposure to sunlight to regulate its circadian rhythms. When your loved one goes outside, it sets his or her body’s internal clock to recognize that it’s daytime. This later comes in handy when the advancing darkness of the evening signals to your loved one’s body that it’s time to sleep.
If you usually help your loved one get out and about but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Portland families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.
4. Enhance Cognitive Functioning
While puzzles and other indoor brain games are great for keeping the mind active, going outside also provides a wealth of mentally stimulating experiences. Watching as animals skitter through the park or trying to remember the name of a nearby street are the types of activities that can help your loved one retain the ability to think clearly.
5. Discover Opportunities to Socialize
Seniors who step outside are more likely to interact with other people regularly. Whether your loved one shares a conversation over the fence with a neighbor or meets someone new in the nearby park, he or she can enjoy a crucial opportunity to socialize. Seniors with connections in their neighborhoods are safer and have more places to turn for help if the need arises.
6. Develop New Interests
Your loved one needs new things to do, and the outdoors holds many chances to discover a new favorite hobby. Consider helping your loved one start gardening or entice him or her to grab a fishing rod and head to the pond. As your loved one discovers more things to do outdoors, he or she may develop a new outlook on life that influences his or her overall wellbeing.
Seniors with mobility issues or health conditions who need assistance with getting out of the house can benefit from the help of a trained professional caregiver. Portland home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Align Home Care team at (207) 835-3490 today.