You're not alone! There are countless studies that prove the mental health benefits of engaging with nature. Birdwatching, in particular, gives people the opportunity to take time and really appreciate the wildlife around them, which is why it comes as no surprise that birders reap many of these same benefits. Birding is scientifically proven to boost both your mental and physical health. And its impact is even more profound for members of the older generation.
With birdwatching having such a proven record of health benefits, for some time now we’ve been seeking ways to leverage Bird Buddy’s powerful (and fun!) technology to partner with an organization that could actually explore our impact more in-depth.
That’s why today, in honor of World Mental Health Day, we are proud to announce our partnership with Retirement Unlimited, Inc (RUI), an organization of 26 senior living communities, and their Inspiritás Memory Care Program. Our goal? To offer residents living with dementia and memory loss the opportunity to engage with nature and reap its benefits. We’ve sent Bird Buddies to all of their communities, and they’ve incorporated them into their lifelong learning curriculum, multisensory programs, creative expression workshops, and more designed around the Bird Buddy's content - both from their own feeders and from our 150,000 community feeders around the world.
We believe that those who could benefit most from nature are often those who have the most limited access to it. So, we’re very excited to be able to explore ways in which we can bring interactions with nature to these communities on a whole new level.
With a dedicated team of professionals including Recreational Therapists, Music Therapists, Art Therapists, and Dementia Professionals, overseen by a Geriatric Recreational Therapist and Gerontologist with 50+ years of combined experience, we aim to see how this unique connection to nature can positively impact seniors living with dementia.
We hope our findings can serve as inspiration and guidance for all; promoting the benefits of nature for other vulnerable members of the community that aren’t able to experience nature first-hand, such as in hospitals, hospices, rehabilitation facilities, and assisted living. Only by measuring the magic that nature and birds bring, are we better able to fully appreciate its awesome power.
We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves as we are still in the early stages. That said, we could not be more excited for the potential offered by this collaboration. We will be working closely with RUI and sharing stories and updates on our social media channels.
Stay tuned, and don’t forget to take some time to relax, and enjoy the birds. Not just this week, but every day.