The cool dampness of rich soil. The warmth of the sun's rays. The joyous trills of songbirds. Gardening has the capacity to engage each of our senses, and the positive benefits of gardening for seniors are truly remarkable. No matter what the ability level or any space restrictions, there’s always a way to help senior loved ones experience the joys of planting outdoors or indoors, watching new growth appear, and harvesting.
Spark interest (or renew interest) in the wonderful world of gardening for a senior you love, and discover:
- A brighter outlook on life. Research has discovered that in comparison to other hobbies, gardening is typically the winner in fighting stress levels and improving mood. Participants in the research study worked on a stress-inducing task, and were then instructed to either spend 30 minutes gardening outside or reading inside. Blood tests clearly showed a decreased level of cortisol – a stress hormone – in the gardening group.
- Increased strength, flexibility, and stamina. Believe it or not, gardening can actually provide a cardio workout in some instances, but even sitting in place while undertaking gardening tasks can help build and strengthen muscles. The simple acts of bending, twisting, reaching, and pulling can also increase stamina and flexibility.
- Lower dementia risk. An intriguing and large-scale study of nearly 3,000 participants has found that dementia risk is minimized by as much as 36 percent in adults aged 60 and over who take part in gardening and similar physical activities.
- The opportunity to make friends. Community gardens bring neighbors together for a common purpose, offering opportunities to establish friendships. The Community Gardening Network can help you locate a garden near you – or, to start a new one.
An indoor garden is wonderful for individuals who can’t get outside or if the weather isn’t cooperating. Decorate small clay pots with markers or paint, and fill with potting soil and a variety of herb seeds. Or create a terrarium with a glass bowl, small shells/stones/etc., potting soil and a few small succulents.
Need some other indoor gardening activity ideas? Find 10 simple ideas here, and contact Amy’s Helping Hands, the trusted leaders in home care in Windsor-Essex and nearby areas, for a care professional to assist! Our caregivers are always available to help older adults live life to the fullest through interesting activities such as gardening, as well as:
- Conversations and reminiscing
- Mind-stimulating games and puzzles
- Engaging outings
- Favorite (or new) hobbies: crocheting, knitting, learning a language or musical instrument – the sky is the limit!
Call us at 519.915.4370 any time for an in-home assessment to learn how we can help create a more enriching life for an older adult you love!