The Benefits of Outdoor Activity for the Elderly

Here at Melrose Care Home, we do everything we can to ensure that all our residents get to enjoy meaningful activities which support the needs, hobbies, and ambitions of each individual that comes to stay with us. This includes lots of outdoor activities, such as great walks, exercise classes, gardening, and trips out. It’s about having fun and continuing to grow as people, whatever our age. And, just like the flowers outside our windows, there are ways in which we grow especially well in the great outdoors.

Here’s a few reasons why outdoor activities in particular are of exceptional importance:

1. It’s a change of scenery.

A change in scenery simply makes the day more interesting. We’ve done everything we can at Melrose to make our facilities a place where everyone who stays here can feel at home. But even in the most delightful location, a change can help provide variety to our days, create memories, and ultimately just contribute to a joy-filled day.

It’s also a fantastic way to be able to spend time with family and loved ones. One of the great benefits of a care home is that it can allow you to make your time together focused on enjoyment, while we focus on the care.

And finally, just on a purely logistical level, there are some activities you need to go elsewhere to do. So, being able to go outside vastly enhances the activities we can offer to our residents.

2. It helps with socialisation.

Being out and about is a brilliant way of making new friends and forming bonds over some sun-kissed adventures, weather permitting. Tackling loneliness is one of the most important things we can do at Melrose. Over 1.4 million older people suffer from loneliness, according to Age UK – and the health risks are significant, with social isolation being associated with everything from depression to a decline in physical health. That’s why so many of our outdoor activities are those crafted to be best enjoyed as part of a group.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that all outdoor activities require you to be part of a large group. If a resident happens to have more individual goals in mind that day, that’s absolutely fine. It’s just always an option to do more social things, indoor and outdoor, and the variety and freedom of choice provides the most possible benefits.

3. It encourages exercise.

Physical activity is absolutely fundamental to our physical and mental health at every age. The NHS recommends a whopping 150 minutes of activity a week. And every minute towards that amount can help reduce the risk of several serious conditions, from heart disease to depression.

That’s why we offer a broad selection of exercise classes, so everyone can get healthier at their own pace doing activities they enjoy. And outside activities further expand those options. Unlike classes, exercise is often part of our external adventures rather than being the sole focus. For many of our residents, this is deeply beneficial because it allows them to get the exercise they need to be healthy and happy as a side effect of doing the things they find interesting.

4. It’s great for mental health.

If you’ve ever come back from a walk feeling fantastic, well, you’re not alone. Many people feel that outdoor exercise helps them feel more relaxed, improves their mood generally, and can even reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Even being outside for as little as 20 minutes can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life – and it’s even more effective when done as a group.

We’re all about health and happiness at Melrose, and few things are as effective as outdoor activities in making progress in both.

5. It’s part of a well-rounded life.

It’s important to note that outdoor activities are best enjoyed when considered amongst the many other benefits of living at Melrose. We aim for personalised, individual-based care which – from health to hobbies – provides everything we can to give our residents as complete and as satisfying a life as possible.

It’s about choice. Just as our residents can make requests on our home-cooked menu, or how we encourage everyone that lives here to make their room their own, they can also enjoy as broad a range of activities as we can provide, both indoor and outdoor.