Benefits of Gardening Therapy for Seniors
Fill up your watering cans, get outside & put your heart into it! Here are some amazing benefits of gardening therapy for older adults.
From 2 to 102 gardening is a fantastic activity to do outside. From a full plot, to a single pot, many people are able to get in a healthy dose of gardening.
Gardening stimulates the senses, it connects us with nature and rewards us with fruits, vegetables and/or enhance our living space with decorative flowers and shrubs. Aside from these benefits, according to Alzheimer Society, gardening can offer several mental and physical benefits to people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
Studies show activities that engage the senses provides those with Alzheimer’s & Dementia positive emotions that they may no longer experience regularly. Gardening therapy engages all of the senses, and can help older adults rediscover their world. Seniors faced with Alzheimer’s may become more paranoid and withdrawn as the disease progresses. Studies have shown that gardening relaxes the mind & can help seniors recall those pleasant long term memories and bring them back to a healthier time.
Physically, gardening is also an excellent way for aging bodies to stay flexible, shed calories & get a low to moderate-intensity aerobic workout. In addition regular exercise is proven to boost energy levels, help with getting a good night's sleep, builds confidence, helps with hand/eye coordination and offers the reward of self purpose.
Staying Safe While Gardening
While gardening may seem like a basic activity for some, for aging adults safety is always something we need to consider. Here are 11 tips that will help seniors garden safely and ensure gardening is a pleasant experience well into their golden years.
Consult with with your healthcare team. It is very important to understand your limits and to stay within those limits. Mobility, side effects from medications and chronic conditions are very important things to consider before using gardening therepy.
If you have beds ensure they are raised. Raised beds can help with back strain and help make gardening more accessible and enjoyable.
Try planting a container garden, to make the activity more accessible.
Avoid strain when you are using pots by ensuring they are not too heavy.
Be aware of pollen and other allergies and avoid plants that will have a negative effect on your health.
Ask for help when needed and never strain yourself.
Garden early in the morning or in the evening to avoid the hottest times of the day.
Keep a cell phone with you at all times so you can call for help if need be.
Keep hydrated by having water readily available.
Protect yourself from the sun. Wear a hat and splash on some sunscreen. nscreen and a hat to protect your loved one from the sun
Keep it fun and light-hearted.
Are you a senior who needs support services at home?
Lions Gate Home Care provides a wide range of support services.
For a free in home healthcare assessment call our 24/7 care line at (604) 980-6350