Encouraging Seniors With Limited Mobility To Go Outside

Senior Caregivers

There are several mental and physical hurdles that prevent seniors from getting outside. Depending on a loved one’s abilities, even a short excursion can take a great deal of energy. If your loved one struggles with mobility issues, the simple act of going outdoors can be a daunting one. Nevertheless, breathing a little fresh air and changing one’s surroundings can do more than help diminish boredom and complacency. Studies show that people who go outside on a daily basis are less likely to have a wide variety of health problems, like chronic pain or sleep loss, and are more likely to remain active than those who stay indoors.

Tips for Getting a Senior Outside

If your loved one is resistant to the idea of going outside, start small and be gentle with your encouragement. There are plenty of ways for seniors to enjoy time outdoors without having to travel far or overexert themselves. Use these ideas to help a loved one restore their desire for fresh air and possibly ease into regular outings.

  • Suggest that they sit by an open window for a few minutes in the mornings or evenings to read the newspaper or enjoy a cup of tea. The feeling of fresh air on their faces may inspire them to spend more time outside.
  • If your loved one’s home has a covered patio or porch or a fenced-in backyard, get them started on spending time out there. They may feel more comfortable if they’re able to “get out” without the watchful eyes of neighbors or strangers.
  • Set up a bird feeder within the view from a window or a porch so they can do some bird watching. If it’s a hit, you can enlist their help with keeping the feeder full and suggest other locations, like a nearby park, to catch glimpses of other species.
  • Consider planting some flowers or a small garden. Certain plants can attract butterflies, and new seedlings are exciting to watch as they grow and change each day. The senior won’t have to go far to get in touch with nature and admire the blooms. This renewed interest can segue into a trip to the local garden center for new plants or an outing to a nearby botanical garden.
  • Even a short jaunt to the mailbox each day will provide a few minutes of fresh air. This small addition to a senior’s routine can help them feel useful and improve their coordination, strength, and stamina.
  • Get creative and find ways to incorporate their favorite indoor hobbies and activities with the outdoors. For example, if they enjoy art or crafts, set up their supplies near an open window or on the porch. If they have always loved listening to music, find outdoor concerts or performances in their area. If family is important to them, invite their grandchildren over to play outside or host a casual backyard picnic or barbecue.

Pick the Right Equipment

Safely navigating inside and outside the home is a crucial factor to consider, since the fear of falling can be a powerful deterrent to getting around. Even if a senior would enjoy leaving the house, they may not feel that all the effort and preparation are worth the hassle. It is common for embarrassment and frustration to surface when going out requires the assistance of another person or mobility aid, such as a cane or rollator.

If your loved one has difficulty walking or transferring, work with them and an occupational or physical therapist to find the right mobility product to help them stay active. An occupational therapist is trained to provide comprehensive solutions for seniors with mobility challenges. Modifications to the home environment can be made to accommodate mobility equipment and seniors can re-learn daily routines with the assistance of a supportive device. Look for a device that provides the support and stability they need and is easy to use and transport.

Many seniors view mobility aids as a nuisance, but they are intended to extend independence and improve safety. Emphasize this fact. Even if a senior is wheelchair-bound, they can get outside with some planning and the right equipment.

Be Patient

Family members wish to enrich their loved ones’ lives with activities and outings. This can be difficult, if not impossible when seniors retreat into the comfort of their homes. Remember to keep your expectations realistic. Some older individuals were never keen on spending time outside, even in their younger days. Sitting near an open window may be plenty outdoorsy as far as they’re concerned. In other cases, a caregiver may need to use ample reassurance and a hint of tough love to get a loved one to step outside their comfort zone—literally.

If getting out simply is not an option—whether it is because they are unable or unwilling—then bring the outdoors to them. Purchase some easy-to-maintain indoor plants or keep a fresh vase of flowers in the room where they spend most of their time. Open a window or two for a little while each day and try to keep shades and blinds open to let in plenty of natural sunlight. These efforts will keep both of your spirits up.

If your loved one needs some assistance with mobility and is in need of some fresh air, contact Caring Companions At Home at 888-950-0750 for a free in-home assessment by one of our qualified Case Managers.

Personalized Care You Can Trust

See all services

Icon of a bath.

Bathing, Dressing & Grooming

Icon of a washing machine.

Laundry & Light Housekeeping

Icon of a cooking pot.

Cooking Nutritious Meals

Icon of a car.

Transportation to Appointments

Icon of a shopping cart.

Grocery Shopping & Errands

Icon of a hospital.

Hospital & Discharge

Icon of a toilet.

Incontinent Care

Icon of holding hands.


Icon of medicine.

Medication Reminders

Icon of an injured person.

Respite Care

Icon of a smiley face.

Socializing & Activities

Icon of a medical appointment calendar.

Doctor's Appointments

Certificates and Awards

Honoree: Diane Mondini

  • 2019
  • Alzheimer's Orange County
    Visionary Women Awards Honoree, Lifetime Caregiver Award.
  • 2016
  • Philanthropy Partner
  • 2012
  • Visionary Women of the Year

Honoree: Diane Mondini

  • 2023
  • Oliver Halsell Care Award
  • 2017
  • AgeWell Recognition
    In appreciation for your Dedication and Commitment to Older Adults in Our Communities.
A carer applying ointment to an eldery woman's arm.

Latest News

County of Orange - Certificate of Recognition

Congratulations to our president, Diane Mondini, on the occasion of being honored by Age Well Senior Services at its 2017 signature event held at the Ritz Carlton on February 25th.

Read more

A carer providing a blanket to an elderly woman in a chair.


Questions About Senior Living

"I'm trying to decide if home care might be right for me. I am 80 years old and live alone. I'm worried that it might be too expensive..." - Mavis in Costa Mesa.

Read more

Client Reviews

Read All Reviews

An eldery woman drinking tea and looking at a photo album with a young carer.

There's no place like home

Learn how you can help older relatives stay in their homes.

Download Brochure

  • 2017 Best of Home Care - Provider of Choice.
  • Home Care Pulse Certified - Trusted Provider.
  • Women Entrepreneurs Orange County.
  • Philips Lifetime Medical Alert Service.
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
  • ALS Association.
  • Alzheimer's Orange County logo.
  • CAHSAH - Shaping the future of home care logo.
  • Home Care Association of America logo.
  • NAWBO logo.
  • American Veterans Care Connection logo.
  • Veterans Care coordination logo.
  • In the Know - a home care pulse company logo.
  • Women Presidents' organization logo.
  • Junior League of Orange County logo.
  • UCI Mind