With Nature and the Outdoors as a Resource:A Case of a One-Footed Elderly Man in a Wheelchair
The older population is a greatly increasing group, and municipalities meet more and more demands regarding the health of elderly people. Ageing results in a loss of mobility and reduced independence, but there are different measures and practices possible that may contribute to maintain independence. By being active, elderly people can prevent disease, reduce disability, and increase wellness. Among these measures, research has discovered that older adults can benefit from contact with nature. This case study presents an old man in a wheelchair and his way of living an independent life despite being physically disabled. Harald is 88 years old and lives in the suburb of Ålesund, a town in Norway. Eight years ago, he had his left leg amputated due to cancer and experienced a long and tough recovery process. Harald‟s way back to restoring his mobility was highly enhanced by the outdoors and natural surroundings, which helped him to restore his independence. His experience, together with other theoretical findings, calls to our attention that nature is a resource on both the mental and the physical level. People who have access to nearby natural settings are healthier overall than other people. Natural surroundings lead one away from daily life and help one to forget about stress and worry. Natural surroundings make one more relaxed and offer a lot of time to reflect on life.
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