Memory Care Essentials: 7 Healthy Reasons to Spend Time Outdoors with Your Loved One

Memory Care and Nature’s Unique Influence on Our Lives

“Today, it is not just authors and poets who are singing the praises of nature. Now healthy aging and memory care experts are also extolling its virtues for older adults and those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia,” says Lonette Bentley, Executive Director at the beautiful new Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola opening in December 2016. 

“Researchers cite evidence that the great outdoors has a multitude of benefits that can enrich our lives and keep us healthier in mind, body and spirit. And this is particularly true for loved ones with memory loss.

“There is an intrinsic connection between people and nature, memory care experts say, that promotes relaxation and a sense of inner peace and calm. This is especially valuable for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease who typically experience stress, anxiety and agitation as part of their progressive disease process.”

7 Health Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors

The Harvard Health article, “A Prescription for Better Health: Go Alfresco,” and studies published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, offer specific evidence:

  1. Increased Vitamin D Levels – Direct sunlight is the main source of Vitamin D for our skin. Even just a few minutes of sun exposure a day can help increase your Vitamin D, which has been known to help fight off osteoporosis, cancer and depression.
  2. Help with Healing – Spending time in the sun could help you get over an illness or injury faster. Studies show that those exposed to more natural light have quicker recoveries and experience less pain than those who were exposed to artificial light.
  3. Increased Physical Activity – When we’re outdoors, we’re more likely to engage in physical activities than when we are stuck indoors. Walking, cycling, gardening and other recreational activities work to keep us at optimal physical health.
  4. Reduced Boredom and Apathy – Going outside can get your brain moving, too. Even if you simply sit outside or take a short stroll, the sensory stimulation that nature provides eliminates boredom.
  5. Increased Social Interaction – Outdoor space allows for more opportunities to do things with others. In turn, spending time with other people boosts self-esteem and positivity, and it can keep us from feeling lonely and out-of-touch, which could lead to depression.
  6. Greater Vitality and Well-Being – Psychological studies link time spent outdoors to a greater sense of vitality. Not only does being outside give you more energy throughout the day, but vitality helps our bodies become more resilient to physical illness.
  7. Increased Feelings of Happiness – We have a natural connection to living things. When we’re out in nature, it’s easy to feel like we belong in our environment. As noted in an article by the University of Rochester, “Being outside in nature makes people feel more alive.”

What At-Home Caregivers Can Do to Provide Outdoor Time

“Because those with memory loss are limited by their circumstances, at-home caregivers can do a variety of things to enable their loved ones to enjoy nature and benefit from time spent in the great outdoors. Sunshine, fresh air and the sights, sounds and smells of nature can be an uplifting experience that also provides them with an opportunity for vital social engagement,” says Lonette

Try these easy ways to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air with your loved one:

  • Take a walk together.
  • Spend some time gardening.
  • Watch an outdoor game or sport together.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities, such as visiting parks, zoos, gardens or open-air concerts.
  • Invite friends on a picnic.
  • Enjoy relaxing on a bench together and taking in the sights, sounds and colors all around you.

Lonette adds, “Just remember that being out in the sun does require some basic precautions. For example, be sure your loved one wears sunscreen, stays hydrated and does not become overheated. And take insect spray in case it is needed.”

Serving Families with Memory Care Information and Support

At Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola, we offer more than exceptional memory care for loved ones; we are also a memory care resource for families. As we prepare for our Grand Opening this December, we invite you to visit our developing website often for more updates and information.

You can also view Clarity Pointe’s memory care articles and tips for at-home caregivers and families on a variety of helpful topics that you can use today.

Clarity Pointe … Our Difference is Clear

Clarity Pointe’s Specialized Memory Care “Living” Neighborhoods are truly changing lives for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias – and for those who love them. At Clarity Pointe™, our mission is to ensure our memory care residents lead connected and rewarding lives.

Unlike other memory care providers that offer a secure memory care wing in a skilled nursing or assisted living center, Clarity Pointe Pensacola offers three freestanding, purpose-built Memory Care communities that are solely and entirely dedicated to Memory Care Assisted Living. Our beautiful communities blend luxurious surroundings with specialized care that is individualized to each resident and delivered by a compassionate, expert team of professionals.

We stay current on the latest trends and advancements in Alzheimer’s care and implement them into our residents’ care plans. Always moving forward, we combine the latest in evidence-based programming with luxurious, residential living and compassionate respectful care.

For each of our residents, we offer a life that is engaging, fulfilling, inspiring and meaningful.

To learn more about the Clarity Pointe Difference, contact us today!