Enjoying nature and the great outdoors at Brendoncare’s homes

Written by: Candice Stead Published: March 2, 2023

When the sun shines in spring and summer, we all want to go outside to enjoy the warmth. But even in autumn and winter, we can get outdoors to marvel at nature’s beauty on those clear, frosty days.

Benefits of being outdoors

For people in later life, being outside is not only the perfect way to relax and enjoy nature, there are also some real health benefits including fresh air and beautiful surroundings.

So, what are the benefits of nature and spending time outside for people in later life?

Vitamin D

One of the main benefits of spending time outside for people is the exposure to Vitamin D, which can decrease as we get older. Having low Vitamin D levels can be linked to pain in muscles and bones, inflammation, higher risk of Type 1 diabetes and several types of cancer.

Getting enough Vitamin D can lift spirits, boost your mood and helps reduce your risk to some physical conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and heart attacks.

Exercise and energy

Being outdoors enables people in later life to enjoy low impact, light and safe exercise.

Spending time outside can also lead to revitalised levels of energy in older people.  A study from the University of Rochester found that being in nature helped increase rates of energy.

Improve memory

Being outdoors can improve some behavioural symptoms for people living with dementia  who are experiencing memory loss. These can include agitation, aggression and wandering.

Multi-sensory outdoor activities like listening to birds, smelling flowers and feeling plants can also improve memory and attention.

Mental well-being

Relaxing outdoors while surrounded by nature can improve mood and increase overall feelings of happiness. One study found that people’s mental energy bounced back just looking at pictures of nature, while city scenes had no effect.

Being outdoors can also:

  • Reduce feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Lessen mental fatigue
  • Improve blood flow to the brain, which increases serotonin levels
  • Calm blood pressure, heart rate and slows the production of stress hormones

Decreases isolation

Being outdoors promotes social interaction, whether through meeting new people or spending time with friends and loved ones. Nature can also make you feel calmer, which, in turn, can help decrease the feeling of isolation.

At Brendoncare, our homes have expansive mature gardens. They encourage and support residents to get outside to enjoy the wide range outdoor activities they offer.

Some of the beautiful landscapes surrounding our care homes are also the home for a variety of wildlife – another reason for residents to spend time outdoors spotting the animals and birds who live there.

For example, Brendoncare Knightwood is set in more than four acres of private landscaped gardens. It welcomes a variety of wildlife including ducks, pheasants and deer! Brendoncare Froxfield is set in beautiful rolling Wiltshire countryside. As well as attracting different types of wildlife, Froxfield also has its own resident rabbit, Rolo, who lives in the garden.

Find out more about our care homes here.