December 2021

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Spending time outdoors can be very beneficial to older people. Whether going for a short walk or playing a game of lawn bowls, senior community living allows residents to engage in a range of activities and spend time outdoors, in a safe way.

Traditional exercise isn’t the only way to spend time outside. Gardening is a great way to spend time among nature, while also getting some exercise. Gardening has numerous health and therapeutic benefits for older people. While it can be harder for some older people to garden due to medical conditions, modifications can be made in retirement villages to create a safe, accessible gardening space suited to older people. 

Evergreen homes are designed to facilitate the independence of residents, with access to your private gardens. Our retirement village in Melbourne East also boasts a bowling green, and nearby park with barbeque areas for residents to enjoy. 

Physical benefits

Spending time outside often involves moving your body and exercising in various forms, whether going for a leisurely walk or participating in a fitness activity. 

Engaging in regular physical activity becomes more important as people get older. It keeps the body fit and healthy, improves memory and brain function, improves sleep quality, and has numerous other benefits. For seniors, spending time outside and exercising can improve their quality of life and allow them to remain independent for longer. 

A moderately intense exercise, gardening counts towards daily physical exercise. It is a healthy and stimulating activity that can contribute to lowering blood pressure, maintaining a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. Gardening increases physical activity, mobility and flexibility, engaging lesser-used muscles. 

Having a pet to care for can often help keep seniors active and engaged. As a pet-friendly retirement home, your pet will be safe within your private enclosed garden. There are also parks and walking tracks nearby for you to take your pet for a walk. 

Mental benefits

There are numerous mental benefits to be gained from gardening and the outdoors, which is why most senior community living facilities encourage it. 

Gardening can reduce stress levels, providing a relaxing activity. It can engage critical functions like dexterity, problem-solving, endurance, and sensory awareness. 

Spending time outdoors increases serotonin, a chemical in the brain that improves moods and increases feelings of calmness and peace. With independent living units with their gardens, seniors can also just enjoy sitting out in their garden amongst nature. 

Spending more time outside is considered to be a great help in reducing depression and anxiety, which seniors can be more susceptible to as they get older. Taking regular nature walks can help improve mental health, boosting your mood and overall feelings of happiness. Residents get some fresh air, move their body, and can enjoy a change of scenery. 

Health benefits

Nature can have a great impact on your mood, but it can also provide a boost to your overall well-being. 

Seniors can often have lower levels of vitamin D, especially as they become less mobile and spend more time indoors. Getting sufficient vitamin D is important as it can help reduce the risk of numerous physical ailments, and help boost overall health. 

Being outside can increase vitamin D levels, which can boost heart health and help reduce the risk of heart disease and the risk of stroke. 

Some studies have found that being in nature may help boost your immune system and help you fight off colds, flu and other infections, which can become especially important for older people. 

There are a variety of benefits to be gained from spending time outdoors, including energy, creativity, mental and physical health and well-being. At Evergreen Retirement Village, we offer an encouraging and safe environment for our residents to spend time outdoors.