Americans have always drawn inspiration from the landscapes and outdoor spaces that surround us and connect us with our heritage and with one another. Every June, we celebrate the natural wonder and outdoor spirit of America by getting outside during Great Outdoors Month.
But sometimes, seniors can get stuck inside, and being cooped up for long periods of time can cause social isolation and loneliness. If you want to help your aging loved one safely soak up some vitamin D, here are four outdoor activities seniors — and their caregivers — can enjoy out of the house.
Visit a Farmers Market
Skip the trip to the grocery store this week and head to your local farmers market. From fresh produce and flowers to live music and entertainment, farmers markets provide a fun place to stock up on nutrient-rich food and get physical activity that essential for good health.
Cast a Line
You don’t have to live on a lake to be able to fish for fun. Whether you cast a rod from a dock or a pier, fishing can be an incredibly relaxing way to spend time in the sun. To find the safest spot, search for accessible fishing locations near you — unless you live in Minnesota or Wisconsin. Then call Let’s Go Fishing, an organization that brings nature’s healing and well-being to seniors, veterans and the disabled.
Enjoy America’s Pastime
Whether it’s a grandchild’s T-ball game or a professional baseball game, catching a sporting event outside is a way for seniors to watch children run around, reconnect with a favorite hobby and enjoy the action without having to be in the middle of it.
Interact with Animals
Pets are a great way for seniors to increase social interaction and physical activity. But if your loved one doesn’t have a dog to walk, they can still benefit from animal interactions, whether you take them birding at a local park or walking around the zoo.
Soaking up the sun can improve cognitive function and mood by enabling seniors to socialize with new people and interact with children and animals. Just be sure to watch your loved one for signs of fatigue, thirst, sunburn and overheating.