Bird watching is one of the most direct interactions between humans and nature that involves the observation and admiration of live birds whether in natural habitats or in urban settlements. It is by far one of the most rewarding and soothing pass-times for seniors in their golden years.
Bird Watching is an Accessible Activity
One of the great appeals for bird watching mainly lies in its adaptability to a variety of circumstances, for seniors have easy access to bird watching regardless of their medical conditions. Whether they be temporarily bed-ridden or long-time wheelchair-bound, seniors of any mobility level can get engaged in by various means. For those permanently home-bound, caregivers can help create an indoor environment for bird watching by setting up a bird feeder outside the window. Those who only suffer mild mobility issues can easily get involved by admiring their little guests in the backyard.
What’s more, bird watching is fairly a low-cost recreation without any fancy gear. It provides an undeniable enjoyment of utmost audio-visual pleasure, an activity that people can simply accomplish with their eyes and ears. As an easy-to-start recreation, all the equipment needed for bird watching will be a pair of light-weight binoculars, a field guide for identification and some bird seeds to attract our friendly little visitors. Place a bird feeder in the backyard or randomly sprinkle some grains on the grass, and those peckish feathered creatures will simultaneously pay a visit.
Benefits of Bird Watching for Seniors
For folks in their golden years, bird watching is a rewarding recreation that benefits them in various aspects. Not only does it helps relieve negative feelings and thoughts, but it also helps improve the overall well-being of the human body and enhance their social networking with the outside world.
1. Relieve Negative Emotions
Lack of interaction and social networking could easily breed negative feelings like loneliness and depression among elderly people. Stuck inside, they could only catch a fleeting glimpse of the outside world through their windows and repeat their mundane life day in and day out. When shrouded in the gloomy despondency, they find a brand new channel where they could find consolation and satisfaction simply by watching birds in their backyards. Bird watching gives them a sense of refreshment, grants their lives with new meanings, and injects vigor and passion into their everyday routine.
Bird watching also makes it possible for seniors to share an intimate relationship with nature, which has great meditative and healing effects on the human body. Moreover, bird watching is a mindful activity that requires close attention to any slight changes in nature, which inspires relaxation and reflection. It’s scientifically identified that bird watching wields great influence in distracting seniors from negative feelings or anxiety-inducing thoughts as well as neurological diseases (depression, etc.).
2. Improve Overall Well-being
Bird watching offers a wide range of benefits to elderly people both physically and mentally. A growing body of evidence suggests spending a substantial amount of time outdoors can help greatly boost the overall well-being of the human body, which is especially crucial for seniors. Outdoor activities like bird watching give seniors a chance to breathe fresh air, absorb enough Vitamin D and get enough exercise. And it has been testified that getting outdoors on a regular basis is extremely helpful for seniors to enhance cardiopulmonary function, improve bone intensity, boost the immune system and reduce the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
Bird watching is an activity that involves sensory stimulation and brain exercises. By observing the behaviors of wildlife and listening to the orchestra composed by Mother Nature, seniors can greatly enhance their vision and hearing. Memory-based tasks like differentiating birds of various species or recalling their names and appearances can improve their memory and keep them away from cognitive disorders like dementia. In addition, soothing activities like this add vitality to their lives and motivate them and give their lives a spin in the endless pursuit of ultimate happiness.
3. Enhance Social Interactions with the Outside World
Bird watching is a community activity shared by families, neighbors and friends and passes joy and happiness among people. It gives seniors a chance to step out of their comfort zone and free themselves from some sort of invisible ‘prison’ they’ve been long confined to. Seniors often have feelings of neglect and isolation, but taking part in social activities like this could help integrate themselves into the collectives like a bird-watching club to enjoy the companionship of like-minded fellows.
It offers great opportunities for seniors to socialize with other bird lovers, make new friends and enhance their bonds with their beloved ones. Social activities like sharing discoveries of new species or fascinating stories amid bird watching can help them shorten the psychological distance with others. Bird watching is an accessible hobby that encourages elderly people to develop social connections with the outside world.
Essential Bird Watching Equipment for Seniors
1. Binoculars——Choose a pair of lightweight binoculars with excellent clarity and wide angles to secure a wide field of view. Pick ones with a magnification of 7 to 8 times and lens number from 30 to 40 millimeters for the most versatility.
2. A bird guide——A bird guide can help seniors learn some basic knowledge about birds and help them differentiate one species from another. A portable bird guide is highly suggested in outdoor bird watching.
3.Outdoor gears——Avoid bright-colored clothing. It’s better to wear natural colors as camouflage to blend in the birding background. Choose comfortable and durable clothing and footwear and dress in layers in outdoor settings.
4.A birdhouse with a camera——Installing a birdhouse with a camera in the backyard enables seniors to watch live videos of nesting birds on TVs or other digital devices. Similar watching devices like feeder or wildlife cameras also work.
5. A bird feeder and birdbath——Setting up a bird feeder with tasty enticements and a birdbath to provide a source of drinking water will greatly increase the attractiveness of the backyard and attract more species to pay a visit. Please continue to read Bird Watching: A Fascinating Recreation for Seniors to get involved.