Inactivity is a substantial problem amongst the elderly. Studies have shown that care home residents in the UK are twice as inactive compared to those living in their own homes. It is also reported that 50% of care home residents never go outside. Research shows that on average, care home residents in the UK are spending just 90 seconds a week outdoors.
Light is health-giving. It provides vitamin D, which is vital for building strong bones and muscles. Daylight is also just as important for our mental health, as well as our physical health. Spending time outside in the fresh air allows us to exercise, which in turn, increases our endorphins and increases our energy levels. Endorphins are chemicals sometimes referred to as ‘happy hormones’ because they trigger a positive feeling in the body.
‘Green’ walks around the garden, in the woods, or in the park reduces stress and anxiety. Spending time outdoors is a great opportunity to be active and social. Research has shown that the health of people with dementia who spend as little as 10-15 minutes a day outside, significantly improves.
At Encore, we are dedicated in caring for our residents and bringing them joy every day. From 1st April 2018, it is our ambition to offer every resident in our homes the opportunity to spend 60 minutes a week outside. Whether they wish to spend time in the landscaped gardens of the home, take a ‘green’ walk in the local area, or have a stroll to the neighbouring shops.
We are committed to encourage and support our residents to take part in activities that they enjoy. It is our pledge to bring “A Breath of Fresh Care” to every Encore resident who wishes to spend more time outdoors in our continued efforts to improve wellbeing and happiness.