The cool dampness of fresh soil. The warmth of the sun. The joyous trills of songbirds. Gardening has the capacity to engage each of our senses, and provides many great benefits to seniors. Regardless of ability level or any space restrictions, there is always a way to help older adults experience the joys of planting outdoors or indoors, watching new growth appear, and experience the satisfaction of harvesting.
Gain interest (or renew interest) in the wonderful world of gardening for a senior in your life, and discover the many benefits of gardening for seniors:
- A sunnier outlook on life. Studies have discovered that when compared with other hobbies, gardening is the winner in fighting stress levels and improving mood. Participants in the study worked on a stress-inducing task, and were then instructed to either spend 30 minutes gardening outside, or thirty minutes reading inside. Blood tests clearly revealed a reduced level of cortisol – a stress hormone – in the gardening test group.
- Improved flexibility, strength, and stamina. Believe it or not, gardening can actually provide a cardio workout in many cases, but even sitting in place while performing gardening tasks can help strengthen and build muscles. The simple acts of bending, reaching, twisting, and pulling can also increase flexibility and stamina.
- Reduced dementia risk. An intriguing and extensive study of approximately 3,000 participants has revealed that dementia risk is reduced by up to 36% in adults over age 60 who took part in gardening and similar physical activities.
- The opportunity to socialize. Community gardens bring neighbors together for a common purpose, offering opportunities to build friendships. The American Community Gardening Association offers its members a chance to search for a community garden in their area – or, to start a brand new one.
An indoor garden is perfect for people who can’t get outside or in the event the weather is not conducive to outdoor activities. Decorate small clay pots with paint or markers, and fill with potting soil and a variety of herb seeds. Or create a terrarium with a glass bowl, small stones/shells/etc., potting soil and a few small succulents.
Need some additional indoor gardening activity ideas? Find 10 simple ideas here, and call on Seniorcorp for a caregiver to assist. Our caregivers are always available to help seniors live life to the fullest through enjoyable activities, such as gardening, and other activities together including:
- Reminiscing and conversations
- Mind-stimulating games and puzzles
- Enjoyable outings
- Favorite (or new) hobbies: knitting, crocheting, mastering a language or musical instrument – the sky is the limit!
Contact the experts at Seniorcorp at 757-640-0557 to schedule a free, in-home assessment to get started on a more enriching lifestyle for a senior you love. Trained professionals are available to provide a variety of senior care services, from companion care to home health in Norfolk, VA, and surrounding areas.