The cool dampness of rich soil. The warmth of the sunshine. The joyful trills of songbirds. Gardening has the ability to engage all of our senses, and provides a wealth of benefits to seniors. Regardless of ability level or any space restrictions, there’s always a way to help seniors experience the joys of planting indoors or outdoors, watching new growth emerge, and harvesting.
Spark interest (or renew interest) in the wonderful world of gardening for a senior you love, and discover these incredible benefits of gardening for the elderly:
- A brighter outlook on life. Research has shown that compared to 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 30 minutes reading inside. Blood tests clearly revealed a reduced level of cortisol – a stress hormone – in the gardening group.
- Enhanced strength, flexibility, and stamina. Gardening can actually provide a cardio workout in some cases, but even sitting in place while performing gardening tasks can help build and strengthen muscles. The simple acts of bending, twisting, reaching, and pulling also increase flexibility and stamina.
- Less dementia risk. A fascinating and extensive study of nearly 3,000 participants has revealed that dementia risk is reduced by as much as 36% in adults over age 60 who participated in gardening and similar physical activities.
- The chance to make friends. Community gardens bring neighbors together for a common purpose, offering opportunities to build friendships. The American Community Gardening Association offers its members the ability to search for a community garden in their area – or, to start a new one.
An indoor garden is great for those who can’t get outside or when 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 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 Responsive Home Care, the top-rated provider of senior care services in Pembroke Pines and nearby areas, for a care companion to help! Our caregivers are always available to help seniors live life to the fullest through engaging activities such as gardening, as well as:
- Conversations and reminiscing
- Mind-stimulating games and puzzles
- Enjoyable outings
- Favorite (or new) hobbies: knitting, crocheting, learning a language or musical instrument – the sky is the limit!