As the weather warms up here in Maryland, it’s time to start getting outside more. While we can all benefit from some sunshine, it’s especially important for seniors. And it’s possible to get the right amount of sunshine while avoiding the harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of sunshine for seniors:
• Sunshine Helps Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency
Let’s face it. Most elderly seniors are not getting outside and doing the yard work or getting outside much at all. That means they’re not getting natural Vitamin D, fondly known as the Sunshine Vitamin. 10-30 minutes of sunshine a day can prevent vitamin D deficiency. Schedule time outside as weather permits.
• Sunshine and Vitamin D Reduce Health Risks for Seniors
Getting enough natural vitamin D can help seniors of all ages. Some of the health benefits include:
Maintaining bone health is especially important for seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 16% of seniors suffer from osteoporosis, also known as brittle bone disease. Elderly women are at a greater risk. By getting the right amount of vitamin D and exercise, seniors can reduce their risk of developing osteoporosis.
Even a short walk outside can make a big difference.
• Sunshine Boosts Senior Mental Health
Who doesn’t feel happier on a sunny day? Sunshine and vitamin D can not only boost a senior’s mood but can also help combat elderly depression. If just getting out in the sun doesn’t improve your outlook, the changing colors of springtime and the singing birds will! And getting outside with someone else can help ease any sense of isolation your senior is feeling.
• Sunshine Can Help Seniors Sleep Better
Seniors who spend all of their time indoors with little to no exposure to sunshine may throw their body clock out of whack. For our circadian rhythm to work most effectively, we need to be exposed to sunshine during the day and darkness at night. Sun exposure tells the body it’s daytime, resulting in increased attentiveness and alertness.
Getting sunshine exposure during the day can also boost our night-time production of melatonin (the sleep hormone).
There are many other benefits of seniors getting enough sunshine, but these are the main ones. If your elderly parent or friend lives alone, try and make it a point to sit with them outside on a sunny day. Whether at their own home or a local park, getting outside and getting some sunshine will do their mind, body, and soul some good. They might not be inclined to go outside without someone to accompany them.
As part of our standard of care for our residents here at Broad Creek Manor, we strive to provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities when the weather permits. We know that getting plenty of sunshine and Vitamin D is vital. We have well-maintained grounds to walk on in supervised groups, as well as a covered deck.
If your loved one can’t take care of themselves anymore, or you as a caregiver are not able to meet their increasing needs, assisted living may be a good solution. Broad Creek Manor is located in northern Harford County at the mouth of Broad Creek with views of the Susquehanna River.
Our residents have plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the sun and get their vitamin D the natural way. We welcome you to schedule a tour to see all that we have to offer. Just fill out the contact form or call 410-452-0004.