Explore Healthy Hobbies With Senior Caregivers: Start A Home Garden
Has your loved one expressed interest in starting a home garden to you or your caregiver? If so, do as the gardeners do and water that seed—this is an interest worth cultivating!
Beyond the tasty harvests and lowered food costs, new research suggests home gardening could be one of the keys to seniors’ successful aging. And with our caregivers by their side, getting started is easy!
Read on to review the research on the positive aging benefits of home gardening and how we can help your loved ones get started, or call (915)-250-0177 to speak directly with a caregiver coordinator in El Paso, TX.
Research Review: Health Benefits Of Home Gardening For Seniors
Starting a home garden is one of the healthiest hobbies seniors can pursue, and not just because it guarantees a steady supply of fresh produce.
Gerontology researchers have praised gardenings “positive aging benefits,” highlight its powerful effects on seniors’ mind, body, and soul, which include:
- Physical health benefits. Gardens require regular care, including weeding and watering, which provides seniors with safe, easy, and rewarding opportunities to increase their physical activity level.
Research by Scott et al. (2020) links gardening with a variety of physical health benefits, including reduced risks of osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Echoing these findings, a UK study found that moderate to heavy gardening activity of four or more hours per week gave seniors “significantly reduced risk of morbidity and mortality rates” (Scott et al., 2020, p. 2). Gardening may also be a key to senior fall prevention, with one study finding seniors who spent 4 or more hours per week exhibited better muscle endurance and balance than those who did not.
- Social health benefits. Both home and community gardens also create opportunities for social interaction, as seniors find new reasons to go to their local garden center, share tips and barter bits of their harvest with fellow gardeners, and surprise neighbors with baskets of fresh produce. In one study monitoring the social impacts of community gardening, researchers found that regular participation in gardening groups, either online or in-person, greatly reduced depression risks and self-reports of loneliness (Scott et al., 2020, p. 2).
- Psychological health benefits. “Exposure to nature through gardens and gardening activities can enhance psychological well-being through emotion regulation and relief from stress,” writes Scott et al. (2020). Gardening also fosters creativity in planning, designing and choosing suitable plants for the season, and learning about gardening provides mental stimulation that helps keep cognitive function sharp well into old age.
With all of these benefits to be had, it is perhaps unsurprising that so many seniors choose to pursue gardening in their Golden Years. In fact, according to research by the National Gardening Association, as many as 35% of all home gardeners are age 65 or older!
If your loved ones have expressed interest in gardening, or you’re looking for healthy, low-cost hobbies to improve their quality of life, our caregivers can help!
Start A Home Garden: Promote Positive Aging With Senior Caregivers
These are just a few ways our caregivers help El Paso seniors reap the rewards of home gardening, even for those with limited mobility or difficulties with activities of daily living (ADLs):
- Purchase and pick up home gardening supplies (e.g. tools, seeds, nutrient-rich soil, etc)
- Assist with home gardening research, planning, and design using online and community resources (e.g. library books or advice from gardening groups)
- Locate community gardens and gardening groups in El Paso, TX to make the hobby more social and work around home gardening limitations (e.g. no room for a garden bed at home)
- Order soil tests and submit samples to see what will grow best in your area
- Help with weeding and watering in hard-to-reach places
- Monitor your loved ones during their gardening exertions to ensure their safety and comfort
- Keep seniors hydrated and dressed appropriately for the weather while gardening outdoors
- Compost produce scraps during meal preparations to help enrich the soil
- Clean, prepare, and serve garden-fresh vegetables for a nutritious and fulfilling meal
Schedule A Free Consultation With Senior Caregivers In El Paso, TX
To learn more about the ways our caregivers support positive aging for seniors in El Paso, TX, you can:
Scott, T. L., Masser, B. M., & Pachana, N. A. (2020). Positive aging benefits of home and community gardening activities: Older adults report enhanced self-esteem, productive endeavours, social engagement and exercise. SAGE Open Medicine, 8.