How we support people to connect with nature

22 November 2021

Service user visiting farm

Over the years, there has been a lot of research carried out that links the time people spend connecting with nature to a reduced risk of mental health problems, improved mood and reduced stress. 

Taking time to reflect on natural surroundings can be really positive for mental health and wellbeing. Being around animals and wildlife can also be beneficial for people’s overall wellbeing.

At Exemplar Health Care, we encourage our residents and colleagues to connect with nature in a variety of ways, to promote their health and wellbeing and support them to take part in activities that are meaningful to them.

Visits from ZooLab

Petting animals can lower your blood pressure, cut down on stress hormones and helps your body to release a relaxation hormone.

At Exemplar Health Care, our care homes have regular visits from ZooLab, who engage with residents in an informative way through their unique animal workshops.

They recently visited our Scotia Heights and St Andrew’s Court care homes in Stoke-on-Trent and Hull, and our residents loved the visits and said that they were happy to hold and touch the animals.

Taking an autumn walk

Nature can also be great inspiration for people to get creative - this can be through painting, drawing or crafting something using items found out and about in nature.

Our colleagues and residents often go out on walks in the surrounding areas - it’s great to blow off the cobwebs and get out into the fresh air, as well as to keep active!

The team at our Yarningdale care home in Ripley are lucky to live near the local park. Last week, they got wrapped up and enjoyed a stroll in the crisp autumn weather.

Day trips out

“Farming is a major influence in the health of the nation, beyond simply delivering good food,” claims Gregor Henderson from Public Health England.

“Through its activities and interactions with the environment, farming gives people a sense of purpose and wellbeing.”

Our Activities Teams organise regular trips out with residents, such as this trip to Wigfield Farm with our Greenside Court care home in Rotherham.