It may become more difficult to take mom or dad out for some sunshine as their Alzheimer’s disease worsens. We understand it might be tough to maintain their safety if they become irritated around crowds or feel uneasy about their environment. As a caregiver, you may be compelled to shorten trips or stop heading outside altogether, but spending more time outside can provide your parents with additional health advantages that you may not have contemplated before. Here’s how nature can benefit your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.
Overall Health Benefits
There are several explanations why spending time outside can be beneficial to those with Alzheimer’s disease, including adequate vitamin D consumption. A lack of this important vitamin has been linked to several ailments, such as an elevated risk of autoimmune and inflammatory illnesses.
Furthermore, getting some fresh air and light exercise has been shown to lower tension and irritability. It has been found that as little as 10 minutes a day can boost one’s mood. Due to the importance of light in determining the body clock, the right amount of exposure can even help enhance your parent’s sleeping patterns.
Slows Down Cognitive Decline
Light exercise and movement, according to research, can aid with cognitive decline and keep the brain engaged. This activity is linked to larger hippocampus volumes in older adults, which are linked to better memory performance. A study of a group of people with Alzheimer’s disease found that strong sunlight and moderate exercise improved their capacity to communicate.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects many individuals, and persons with dementia are no exception. This is just another reason to encourage or support outdoor activities whenever feasible, and to customize them to the requirements of each elderly. Even those who have mobility issues can benefit from the fresh air provided by merely sitting outdoors.
Activities Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Should Try
Walking is beneficial for both stamina and toning of leg muscles. You might visit nearby parks with nature walks if your parents can tread far. For people with mobility issues, most parks provide maps with various trail distances and difficulty levels. Before you begin walking, consider purchasing a GPS gadget.
- Bird Watching
For those with dementia, bird watching especially outdoors may be both entertaining and comforting. Depending on the stage of your parent’s illness, you and your loved one might make bird watching logs together. Photograph the birds you see, print them out, and paste them into your personalized album.
- Farmer’s Market
Another option to spend a summer day outside with your loved one is to visit your local farmer’s market. You may purchase organic fruits and veggies to add to your parents’ favorite meals. Farmer’s markets in smaller towns may be less crowded and hence more suitable for an adult with Alzheimer’s disease. Remember to put on sunscreen, bring recyclable shopping bags, and assist your parent in wearing their most suitable footwear.
Many individuals who are caring for their older folks have an intense urge to protect them, which can translate into remaining indoors since the idea of venturing outside can be daunting and worrisome. However, like with many aspects of life, it can be a tremendous benefit for mom or dad if a trip outdoors is thoughtfully and sufficiently arranged. Try it yourself and witness the benefits!