Four Surprising Benefits of Gardening for Seniors
For older individuals, getting outside and enjoying the spring and summer months is essential, but finding activities that are appropriate for the weather — and for aging bodies — can be challenging. That’s why gardening is such a favorite activity among the senior set.
Perhaps you are caring for an aging loved one who could use some more activity in their life. If this is the case, encouraging them to build and tend a small garden is a terrific idea. There are many benefits to gardening, some of which might surprise you!
Benefit #1: It Reduces Stress
Gardening is one of the best ways for seniors to reduce various bodily stresses and strains. That goes for the mind, too. Gardening offers many opportunities for getting into a calm, meditative state, which can help to reduce feelings of stress, which, in turn, can lead to better sleep and a higher quality of life, in general.
Benefit #2: It Can Help Prevent Disease
Being outside and active in the fresh air keeps the body flexible and mobile. It also helps prevent certain diseases and conditions from appearing. For example, gardening has been shown to reduce the effects of disease such as osteoporosis in older individuals.
Benefit #3: It Exercises the Whole Body
Gardening may not look like it involves much physical effort, but it’s surprisingly effective at working the whole body. This is wonderful news for seniors who want to ensure that they maintain strength and flexibility as they age without risking serious injury. Gardening can even enhance motor skills and synergy between the mind and body.
Benefit #4: A Source of Food and a Sense of Pride
Seniors who require the care of others for day-to-day living often feel the loss of a sense of accomplishment. Certainly, they are grateful to have help, but they also want to retain areas of their lives where they can accomplish something to be proud of on their own. Gardening gives seniors a wonderful activity to pass the time, but it also gives them a yield of healthy food or gorgeous flowers.
Staying Safe and Sound in the Garden
– Being outdoors requires the proper attire, so make sure your loved one is outfitted with the necessary gear
– Staying hydrated is important for any physical activity — even gardening — so encourage your loved one to keep a water bottle or sports drink nearby
– If your loved one suffers from dementia or has other memory issues, be sure they are properly supervised; otherwise, they may become confused or agitated
– Take some time to evaluate and prepare the gardening area for safety before your senior goes to work
– Make sure your loved one has the proper tools; lightweight, ergonomically designed implements are best for older individuals
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can help a senior in your life benefit from gardening, Always Best Care can help! Call us today at 1 (855) 470-CARE (2273) to learn more and find out how you can receive your FREE consultation.