Research shows that there are numerous benefits to spending time outside, especially for seniors. Seniors who spend time outside decrease their risk for depression and anxiety. They also increase levels of vitamin D, which trend low among the older adult population. Time outdoors can even improve memory and lengthen lifespan.
Many seniors miss the benefits of spending time outdoors. They may worry about tripping or falling because they don’t have a safe place to enjoy the great outdoors. Fortunately, many of these worries can be addressed and fixed so that seniors can safely head outside. Below are a few practical tips for creating a safe place outdoors for seniors.
Uneven terrain puts seniors at a higher risk of falling. Creating a safe place outdoors starts with leveling the pathways. Repair rotted wood on the deck and level stepping stones where needed. Remove outdoor rugs and mats, as these can cause a senior to trip and fall. Repair cracks in the sidewalk and replace stones or bricks that are falling apart. Trim shrubs and tree branches that have overtaken walkways.
Another tip for creating a safe place outdoors for seniors is to add shade. In addition to wearing sunscreen, seniors benefit from shaded outdoor areas. As we age, our skin changes in ways that make it more difficult to defend against skin diseases, such as skin cancer. Outdoor shade not only offers protection from direct sunlight, but it also feels cooler than the temperature in full sun. Observe your outdoor space and add shade where needed. Purchase a large patio umbrella or gazebo, or install a shade sail to give more shade to your outdoors.
Replace Broken Furniture with Accessible Options
Traditional outdoor furniture can be uncomfortable for some seniors and dangerous for those with mobility concerns. The best outdoor furniture for seniors should be supportive and easy to get out of without assistance. Look for sturdy outdoor furniture that has armrests on both sides of the chair. Also, look for furniture that sits up a little higher rather than purchasing a lounge chair that reclines and sits lower to the ground.
Keep Activities Safe and Secure
Outdoor activities can be some of the most fun ways for seniors to spend their time, but they can also be dangerous. Ensure that your outdoor space stays neat and tidy so that you don’t trip over objects that aren’t put away. Keep the hose coiled after using it, and put away all gardening tools. Ask your grandkids to keep their toys and games out of walkways and to put them away after they finish using them. If you have a pool, ensure that it’s properly secure so that you don’t fall accidentally into the water.
As you evaluate your outdoor space or look for ways to help your aging parent create a safer place outdoors, perhaps it’s time to consider a move to a senior living community. Senior Living Solutions is here to help. Our mission is to relieve stress and ease the burden of finding the best senior living options for our clients. We are very familiar with what’s available in the local area. We’ve already done all the work touring, interviewing, and vetting senior living communities of all varieties. We can point you in the right direction so you can have confidence knowing the communities you choose to tour will meet your care needs. We do this for free, so why not take us along for the journey? We can help you find your new home that already has safe places to spend time outdoors. Contact us today by calling 501-650-3013 to schedule an appointment today.