Enhancing Senior Living Communities: The Vital Role of Outdoor Recreational Spaces for Health, Wellness, and Socialization.
Enjoyable outdoor recreational spaces at Senior Living Facilities are critical to the health and well-being of seniors.
Outdoor recreational spaces are at the core of all healthy communities – cities, townships, social clubs, schools, etc. – and the same applies to a senior living community. These spaces can improve the quality of life for seniors, providing them with a sense of community and a place to relax and engage in activities they enjoy. The benefits of outdoor recreation are well documented, including improved mental and physical health, socialization, and reduced stress.
The amenities that Byrne & Jones Parks can deliver extend to not only to residents but also their family members and visitors. Offering such enjoyable outdoor spaces also bolsters these residences’ own marketing efforts, making their care community more desirable to be a part of. In recent years, senior living communities have enhanced their outdoor recreational spaces by including the following amenities:
Sensory gardens are one amenity that can provide a peaceful and relaxing space for residents. These gardens are designed to engage the senses, providing opportunities for residents to enjoy the sights, sounds, and fragrances of nature. Sensory gardens can help to improve mental health, reduce stress and anxiety, and enhance cognitive function. Including instruments in these gardens can provide the residents even more peace. Research has found that intergenerational musical play can have physical and cognitive health benefits for elderly adults, particularly those residing in long-term care homes or residential facilities. This type of musical session facilitates mutual teaching and learning and encourages intergenerational relationships, leading to improved psychosocial status and enhanced cognitive function in the elderly participants. The combined effect of music and social participation has been shown to be beneficial in reducing depressive and anxious symptoms in elderly and dementia patients.
Outdoor Social Spaces
Outdoor social spaces, such as game tables, seating, performance areas, and courtyards, provide opportunities for residents to interact with one another and participate in community events. Bocce and Pickleball courts offer residents a chance to engage in friendly competition and physical activity, promoting health and wellness. These spaces encourage socialization and community-building, which can have a positive impact on mental health, improve mood, and reduce stress. In addition to providing socialization opportunities for residents, outdoor social spaces also offer a welcoming environment for family members and visitors to spend time with their loved ones.
Walking trails are an important aspect of outdoor recreational spaces in senior living communities. These trails provide opportunities for residents to engage in physical activity, promote health and wellness, and enjoy the natural beauty of their surroundings. Walking is a low-impact form of exercise that is particularly well-suited for seniors, as it can help to improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of falls, and enhance overall mobility. Walking trails can be designed to accommodate walkers of all abilities, with different levels of difficulty and terrain, and can be wheelchair-accessible.
Outdoor Fitness Equipment
Outdoor fitness courts can also be a great addition to senior care facility campuses. Customized equipment is designed specifically for seniors, with low impact movements and easy-to-use events. They can help residents maintain or improve their physical health, including strength, balance, and flexibility. Fitness equipment can also provide an opportunity for socialization and community-building, with group exercise classes or simply working out alongside friends.
Get Started with your next project by speaking with our parks division
We believe that everyone, regardless of age, should have access to enjoyable outdoor recreational spaces, and we are committed to helping senior care facilities provide these vital resources to their residents. By proactively introducing Byrne & Jones as a resource to senior living communities, our goal is to help making extended campus recreational resources and greater joy & satisfaction a reality. If you are interested in learning more about designing and building an outdoor recreational space at a senior living community, please reach out to us at (314) 254-9766.