Today, retirement communities are focused mainly on offering residents a home-like feel. It is important to make residents feel comfortable and safe by providing a warm and welcoming environment that features a wide array of onsite amenities and personalized care services along with hospitable outdoor living spaces. Here are some reasons that show how outdoor living spaces can help to promote healthy aging.
Supports Memory Care
Community gardens provide a deep sense of tranquillity which can help residents to relax. Stimulating activities that are held in these community gardens also encourage engagement and increase participation. Studies have also shown that regularly being in outdoor spaces can lead to the slowing down of the progression of dementia and other memory-related conditions in small improvements.
Gardens or greenhouses can create a sense of normalcy or routine for older adults. They get to plant flowers or pick vegetables after personally watching them grow under their careful watch. This makes older adults achieve a sense of purpose and that they are part of something great.
Offers Social Opportunities
Outdoor living spaces are where older adults will get plenty of social opportunities. They get to mingle with fellow residents and participate in the same personal interests together. The company that they get to enjoy will improve their mental well-being while also supporting their physical wellness. New friends can hold gatherings together in outdoor living spaces and simply enjoy each other’s company.
Natural environments are more visually appealing. When residents visit gardens or outdoor living spaces, they get to lower their blood pressure, improve their sleep, increase their vitamin D intake, and support their body stability. A garden that has vibrant hues like reds, oranges, and yellows is also viewed better by aging eyes and these colors can also boost memory.
When older adults get natural sunlight regularly and are exposed to the outdoors every other day, they will get to improve the quality of their sleep. They just need to soak up the goodness of the sun every day for just 30 minutes and they will get to regulate their body’s circadian rhythm. This in turn contributes to a more consistent sleep schedule which enables them to rest and recharge as required.
Creating Conducive Outdoor Living Spaces for Older Adults
It is important to incorporate several factors to ensure that the outdoor living spaces used by older adults are conducive enough to support their health. A pivotal pathway circuit with interesting places to walk with longer and shorter loops will encourage exercise and participation. Pathways that are built with edges or railings will also ensure the safety of older adults even if they need to use mobility aids or have sight impairment. The seating areas of the outdoor living spaces also need to be considered carefully. Some older adults do prefer to sit on their own even when they are retiring in a community that has many neighbors. They may need time to adjust to the new experience as inter-mingling with fellow neighbors may inflict stress.