Safe outdoor activities for the elderly

Safe outdoor activities for the elderly

Being an older person need not mean you have to compromise or feel limited when it comes to taking part in activities outdoors and adventure. Finding interests that you enjoy can be hugely positive for your personal wellbeing and is often a simple way to help maintain a good quality of life.
If there’s a pastime that you think you might enjoy that can take place in the great outdoors, so much the better. Spending time outside is known to enhance your mood and provide a great natural energy boost, not to mention a whole host of other physical and mental health benefits.
So, with all this positivity to be gained from taking part in activities outside the home, you might be wondering: where to start?

Finding the right activity for you

Just as the care that we deliver at Home Instead is personal based on individual need, so too are the activities that will be right for you.
Perhaps you’re looking to start an activity that can help you to keep healthy by maintaining regular exercise? Or maybe you’re interested to find a hobby that can become a shared interest, enabling you to meet likeminded people for some extra company?

Here are some activities you might consider:


Keep it simple with a short walk in your immediate surroundings or explore further afield, whichever suits your level and interest. As well as being an ideal activity to do alone should your health and mobility allow, walking naturally lends itself to the company of a friend or family member for some extra support. If you’re looking to make walking more of a regular hobby, there are even walking clubs you can join to fully explore your local outdoors. 

As gentle exercise, walking is a very accessible activity to help you to stay active, something that is particularly important for reducing some of the health risks which become more common as we age. Walking is also a great antidote for cognitive memory function, as well as challenges with anxiety and depression, and is known to significantly improve your mental health as well as physical. Even the smallest amount of walking can help, so what are you waiting for? Best foot forward.


Perhaps you’re naturally green-fingered having long enjoyed gardening, or maybe it’s something you’re interested to discover more. Either way, it’s a great way to provide the motivation to get outside and take advantage of being able to look after yourself at the same time as looking after your garden.

Gardening provides light exercise and allows you to take things entirely at your own pace, so is ideal for older people. The process of nurturing and helping plants to grow is also hugely beneficial to your wellbeing. 

There is a great deal of satisfaction and comfort to be gained from quite literally seeing the fruits of your labour, as well as the pride and sense of accomplishment you can feel in transforming a space and growing seedlings to mature plants or fruits and vegetables. There can be something enormously powerful in being connected to nature and feeling grounded to the world around you. 


Whatever your level of photography, whether very practised or a complete novice, it’s an interest that is popular with many people of advancing years. Taking photographs or simply enjoying looking back over old picture memories, can be a great way to reminisce on a life well-lived as well as helping inspire to create new experiences.

For older people with dementia, looking at photographs is known to help counter memory loss and help those suffering to better engage in the present moment and connect with those around them. Pictures can sometimes tell the most powerful story.

A great incentive to explore, taking an interest in photography will help you to appreciate the world around you and provide a sense of purpose. Photography is a hobby which tends to be associated with local clubs – from competitions to classes to improve your photo taking skills – and can be as fun or as involved as you like. 

Outdoor activities during a pandemic

Clearly, current lockdown measures across the UK mean that many outdoor activities are on hold for the time being. Think in the meantime about how you can adapt interests that you previously enjoyed outdoors to within your home environment – indoors or out in the open if you are lucky enough to have a garden or some outside space.

Regular daily exercise such as walking is recommended as usual, although restricted to your local area and at a lower-risk social distance from one other companion joining you – providing it is safe for you personally to do so. Gardening is usually a home-based activity so comes with no limits, providing you remain in your own private space. And as for photography, perhaps now is a welcome time to reflect on moments captured so far, as well as other old photographs you may not have taken the time to look at and enjoy for a while.

More information

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