Seniors and their caregivers spend most of their time indoors. Due to the nature of caregiving, getting outside is usually low on the list of priorities that have to be taken care of during scheduled visits by home care providers. On average, adults spend eight hours each day indoors working and the rest of the evening hours indoors doing household duties and sleeping. This leaves precious little time for them to go outside and just breathe – and even less for the elderly population due to health confinements.

However, most people may not be aware of the many benefits associated with fresh air and sunshine. The root of fresh air is oxygen. Of the five elements that come together to form the human body, oxygen accounts for 65%. The air that we breathe is a magical energy that is carried to every cell in the body by the blood stream. Oxygen energizes and stimulates our bodies as well as our minds, when absorbed through our skin cells and respiratory tracts.

Most people are not aware that the air we breathe inside our homes is far more harmful to us than the air we breath outdoors. Chemicals from household cleaners and insulation coupled with dust particles, mold spores, pet dander, and dust mites can wreak havoc on the respiratory system of children and adults alike. The elderly population is especially vulnerable to air contaminants due to repressed immune systems and underlying health conditions that may make breathing difficult even in the best circumstances. Aside from respiratory conditions, poor air quality inside a home can trigger or worsen painful migraine headaches and seasonal allergy attacks.

Fresh air and sunshine have also been known to be natural mood enhancers. This is an especially important benefit for the elderly population. Many times the elderly suffer from depression or other mood disorders that can lead to other, more serious health conditions. Being exposed to fresh air on a regular basis can greatly improve their mood and their health.

Getting a senior outside doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. Although the purest, most beneficial air is found at the sea shore, in the mountains, or in the countryside, so long as there is not a black cloud of smog floating over their home, even a front porch would suffice. Home care providers could also take their clients on a stroll through the yard, neighborhood, or a nearby park. It doesn’t matter where the clients are getting the fresh air. It just matters that they do.

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