Connecting with Nature in Aged Care

Bringing nature into aged care is more than just a nice idea — it’s a key to better health and happiness for seniors.

Nature has a way of making us feel calm, happy, and connected, which can be especially beneficial for elderly people. The simple act of engaging with nature can provide a profound sense of belonging and wellbeing.


Benefits of connecting with nature for the elderly

With nature’s unique combination of physical, mental, and emotional benefits, it can dramatically improve the quality of life for the elderly. From the simple act of breathing fresh air to the more engaging activities like gardening, nature provides endless opportunities for enrichment and enjoyment.

Let’s unpack a few of the benefits of nature that you might notice for the elderly people in your care:

Improved physical health: Engagement with nature has been linked to improved physical health outcomes. For seniors, regular contact with the outdoors can lead to increased mobility and agility due to the gentle exercise that natural settings encourage. Outdoor activities or even short walks can help with maintaining muscle strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health.

Enhanced mental health: The calming effect of nature can significantly reduce stress levels and improve mood, offering a natural remedy for those struggling with loneliness or depression. For the elderly, time spent in ‘green spaces’ can help enhance overall mental wellbeing.

Sharper thinking: Interaction with diverse natural environments stimulates cognitive functions. For individuals in aged care, exposure to the outdoors and engaging with the natural environment can help keep seniors’ minds active, potentially slowing the progression of cognitive decline.

Social interaction: Outdoor activities can provide opportunities for social interaction, crucial for combating the isolation often experienced in aged care. Participating in group activities like bird watching or nature walks can foster a sense of community among residents, promoting social bonds and improving quality of life.


Tips on how to connect with nature for the elderly in aged care

If you’re an aged care worker or providing care for elderly people, these tips could help you introduce more outdoor time and enjoy the benefits of nature:

Gardening: Simple gardening projects can provide a sense of accomplishment and physical activity. A pot plant can be a great starting point.

Nature walks: Organizing short, accessible walks in natural settings allows seniors to enjoy fresh air and natural beauty, catering to various fitness levels.

Bird watching: This relaxing activity can be enjoyed with minimal effort and is great for connecting with wildlife.

Nature crafts: Engaging in crafts using natural materials offers creative stimulation and a tangible connection to nature.

Indoor nature: For those who have difficulty going outside, incorporating plants, natural light, and nature sounds into indoor spaces can mimic the benefits of being outdoors.

Integrating nature into the lives of seniors in aged care can do a lot for their physical, mental, and emotional health.

With thoughtful approaches and activities, it’s possible to bring the healing power of nature to those in care, enhancing their quality of life and providing them with the joys and benefits of the natural world.

If providing a high standard of care to elderly people is something you’re passionate about, our aged care courses can help you to start an aged care career or progress in your existing aged care role. Take a look at our aged care courses here or chat to our team.

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