The Importance of Nature for Senior Well-Being


There are many ways to incorporate nature through programming, and some of them are quite simple. “I would encourage other senior living communities to use the talents of staff and the knowledge of their residents to provide opportunities to connect with nature,” says Paquette. “Nature-related programs can be immersive, creative, educational, multi-generational, spontaneous, long-lasting, cultural, reminiscent, and so on. The more variety, the more opportunity with endless possibilities.”


Here is the article from iAdvance featuring our very own Janice Pacquette: The Importance of Nature for Senior Well-Being – I Advance Senior Care


Here are some additional benefits:

  1. Immersive Programs: These programs aim to deeply engage residents with nature, providing experiences that involve all the senses. This could include guided nature walks, outdoor picnics, or birdwatching sessions.
  2. Creative Activities: Encouraging residents to express themselves through creative outlets such as painting landscapes, writing poetry inspired by nature, or crafting with natural materials like leaves and branches can foster a deeper connection with the natural world.
  3. Educational Initiatives: Offering educational programs on topics like gardening, local wildlife, or environmental conservation can empower residents with knowledge while fostering appreciation and stewardship of nature.
  4. Multi-generational Opportunities: Involving residents in intergenerational activities with children or younger adults, such as planting a community garden or participating in outdoor games, not only connects them with nature but also strengthens bonds across different age groups.
  5. Spontaneous Encounters: Creating spaces within the community where residents can spontaneously interact with nature, such as rooftop gardens, indoor plantings, or designated birdwatching areas, allows for serendipitous moments of connection.
  6. Long-lasting Programs: Establishing sustainable initiatives like community gardens or nature-based therapy sessions ensures that residents can consistently access and benefit from nature over an extended period.
  7. Cultural Exploration: Exploring nature through cultural lenses, such as learning about indigenous plant species or participating in traditional nature-based ceremonies, can deepen residents’ understanding and appreciation of diverse cultural perspectives on nature.
  8. Reminiscence Activities: Engaging residents in activities that evoke memories of past experiences in nature, such as storytelling about childhood adventures or listening to recordings of natural sounds, can evoke feelings of nostalgia and joy.


Overall, by embracing a diverse range of nature-related programming, senior living communities can provide residents with meaningful opportunities to connect with the natural world, fostering improved well-being, social engagement, and a sense of belonging within the community.