4 Fun Outdoor Activities for Seniors with Parkinson’s

By 9  am On


Parkinson’s disease can have a significant impact on mobility, which can make going outside a challenge. However, with a little adaptation, many outdoor activities can be beneficial for seniors with Parkinson’s. Here are a few suggestions for your elderly loved one to try. 

1. Taking a Stroll

Seniors with Parkinson’s often have limited range of motion. However, many are able to walk with mobility aids or with someone to steady them. It’s important to stay mobile so existing physical abilities aren’t lost. If your loved one is able to walk even a short distance, take him or her to a scenic area, such as a park, a public garden, or an easy walking trail, and go for a stroll. In addition to keeping their muscles strong, seniors can also benefit emotionally from the change in scenery and getting to be outside. 

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

2. Playing Sticky Catch

Coordination can be difficult for seniors with Parkinson’s disease. However, using the abilities they do have can increase coordination. Encourage your loved one to play a game of sticky catch. This game uses a Velcro ball and flat, circular Velcro mitts that fit over the hands. Gently tossing the ball back and forth allows it to stick to the mitt as soon as it touches it. The mitts are much easier to manage than trying to catch a ball with bare hands because they just have to be positioned in the right area. You may find your loved one’s coordination increases a bit while practicing this game, and he or she can even play it with the grandkids or while sitting in a lawn chair if he or she gets tired from standing. 

3. Gardening

If your loved one hasn’t gardened before, now is a great time to try something new. Your parent can opt to grow vegetables, flowers, or a little bit of both. After the area is tilled and prepared, your loved one can plant seeds and bulbs, cover them with dirt, and water them.

Encourage your loved one to continue tending to the garden each day, doing the tasks he or she is able to do. It can be difficult for seniors with Parkinson’s to kneel and stand, so provide a knee pad and a solid piece of furniture, such as a lawn bench, to help your loved one get back on his or her feet after gardening sessions.

Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with the everyday tasks of life, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Arlington, VA, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

4. Going on a Picnic

If your loved one’s condition doesn’t make it too difficult to sit and stand, you can simply spread a blanket in a shady area of the backyard. Otherwise, you can use a table on the porch or take your picnic to the local park, where tables are usually available. Encourage your loved one to help you prepare the meal and invite a friend for socialization. 

One of the biggest benefits of a picnic is the chance to get outside and enjoy nature. The peacefulness of being outside can reduce the agitation some seniors with Parkinson’s experience. It’s also an opportunity for your loved one to practice manipulating things with his or her hands. Simple actions like opening jars and pulling lids off containers and putting them back on can keep the hands and fingers nimble and better able to move. 

If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Arlington, elder care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (703) 988-1800 today.