Nature-Inspired Activities Provide Health Benefits for All


Each day we are greeted with an original piece of art from Mother Nature. Whether that’s a red and orange-streaked sky at sunrise or a rainbow following a spring rain, it can sometimes be hard to comprehend the subtle impact that those nature-inspired events can have on our life. From the time we wake until the time we go to sleep, nature provides a presence that has the ability to energize or center us just by being present in the moment whether we recognize that as happening or not.

Just think back to childhood when you were encouraged to go outside in order to release pent-up energy. It turns out that those games of catch, hopscotch and bike riding did more than give your parents a much needed mental break; it also helped increase your stores of Vitamin D within the body and built up muscles and bones through the act of walking, bending, running and jumping. Not to mention that the sheer act of being outside can be a catalyst for some serious fun and good memories. At SeniorCare Homes we are always on the lookout for a spontaneous outing, whether that’s a trip to see the animals at Land of Paws or a visit to the local ice cream store.

The joys of outdoor activity aren’t just beneficial for the young, it’s something that’s good for all of us, including those living with all stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. In fact, a July issue of the Harvard Health Letter demonstrated that simple activities such as dining outside, gardening and walking could contribute to rises in Vitamin D within the body that have the ability to safeguard against osteoporosis, depression and heart attacks as well as improve states of relaxation and concentration. Researchers found that those living with all stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia who took part in outdoor activities demonstrated fewer symptoms of anger, agitation, depression, rummaging and wandering.

Whether the benefits of the outdoors are a part of structured group outings or individual pursuits, they can be used as a part of a comforting routine to create stability or help an individual focus on prior interests. Consider looking to the natural rhythms of nature for inspiration. In winter, collect clean snow to make snow ice cream or snow cones. After the spring thaw, make plans for a garden of perennials or annuals and prepare the garden to plant a variety of easy-to-care-for plants and vegetables that can be harvested for meals in late summer and early fall. Check out some of the activities our residents enjoy year-round in our SeniorCare Homes communities.

Residents living in the SeniorCare Homes’ residential Memory Homes regularly enjoy the benefits of the outdoors by planting flowers. Check out some of our residents tending flowers in the Memory Home’s garden, enjoying the weather outside on the deck or gathering with friends and family for a meal al fresco.

SeniorCare Homes in Overland Park and Leawood, Kansas, offer the most comfortable and stable assisted living environment to seniors with dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Phone (913) 236-0036 to learn more about neighborhood living for the memory impaired.