5 Fall Outdoor Activities For Seniors And Their Caregivers

Tim Watt  |  October 9, 2015

Fall is a great time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. The sun is still out but not as strong as it was in the summer and the trees turn to their vibrant seasonal hues, creating the ideal environment for relaxing outdoors with loved ones. Seniors and their caregivers have a wide range of fun activities to choose from that ensure they're making the most of the season.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained that all adults need at least 150 minutes of exercise every week to avoid serious diseases. Many people often consider fall the best season to work out outdoors, as the heat has left and the temperatures have yet to plummet to their cold winter lows. 

Older adults and their caregivers should try these five outdoor activities to help them stay mentally stimulated and active while getting in the spirit of the season:

1. Gardening
Gardening is an easy way for seniors to work their muscles and get moving. It's particularly fun to garden if they have already planted vegetables in the summer, as they can harvest them and use them for cooking meals and trying new recipes. There are even a few vegetables that people can plant in the fall. For example, a leading supplier of plants in the U.S., Bonnie Plants, suggested growing radishes, beets and Irish potatoes, as these hard vegetables can tolerate frosts. 

When it comes to planting fall flowers, Better Homes and Gardens magazine recommended planting the aster, which introduces a splash of pink and purple to outdoor areas. The toad lily is another seasonal flower that prevents gardens from getting colorless and bland in the fall. The source noted that while these blooms look intricate, they are easy to care for.

2. Picnic
ElderOneStop pointed out that it's fun to have a picnic outside before it gets too cold. Seniors can enjoy an outing with their caregivers, or if they live in an assisted living community they can organize a potluck picnic with other residents. A picnic outing can involve a gathering on the patio or a trip to the park. This also gives older adults the chance to whip up their favorite meals or seasonal recipes.

3. Apple picking
One of the most popular fall activities is apple picking. It gives people the chance to appreciate the fall and gather some fresh apples for recipes like apple pie and cider. The seasonal outing is also fun to do with grandchildren. Walking around and plucking apples will help seniors get active and serves as a good mood booster.

4. Pumpkin carving 
What can make sitting on the porch with a cup of hot apple cider even better? Transforming pumpkins into spooky jack-o'-lanterns is a fun seasonal form of arts and crafts. If seniors experience vision impairment, they should avoid sharp knives and instead tell their caregivers what they want their pumpkin to look like and watch while it comes to life. Placing an LED candle inside will light up the jack-o'-lantern and make for a festive decoration on the porch or in a window.

5. A nature walk
Going on a brisk walk with friends or loved ones will help adults establish a 30-minute daily exercise routine. There's nothing more stimulating than experiencing the crisp, cool air, blue skies and bright foliage at once. However, adults should make sure that they're dressing appropriately to avoid catching a cold. Going for a walk presents opportunities to take pictures of friends or family in front of such a beautiful natural backdrop as well.