Gardening is an activity that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages; however numerous studies are showing that gardening in retirement drastically improves health in old age. So whether it’s nurturing flowers, or growing herbs and vegetables, here are a few standout examples for why seniors should consider spending more time in their home garden:
- Improved Physical Health – One of the first and most obvious benefits of gardening is physical. It is an activity that can help strengthen muscles and bones, while also positively effecting the cardiovascular and respiratory system. The activity can also stimulate the appetite and lead to better food intake, an issue that many seniors struggle with.
- Reduced Risk for Disease – Studies have also shown that people who spend time outside have lower blood pressure and stress levels, two things that play a large role in reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. There is also evidence showing that seniors who garden can reduce their risk for dementia, and those who have been diagnosed can incorporate gardening into their dementia care plan to help decrease symptoms such as anxiety, fear and restlessness.
- Enhanced Motivation – Gardens provide the elderly with a sustained interest, something they can look forward to and continue learning about no matter what their age. When a senior becomes excited about a pastime, he or she is much less likely to suffer from apathy and depression, feelings commonly reported by seniors in their golden years.
- Continued Feelings of Self Worth – Hobbies in general help seniors stay active and engaged which can contribute to feelings of self esteem and worth. When a senior is able to consistently participate in an activity such as gardening they are able to enjoy a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
In addition to the benefits listed above, gardening is a great option for the elderly because it can be modified to suit any physical limitations or issues with mobility. Popular senior friendly gardening modifications include raised beds to reduce the need to constantly stand up and bend down, potted plants for seniors who may be homebound, and tools with extra large handles to promote better grip, something that is particularly helpful for seniors living with arthritis.
For other senior friendly activities, contact Home Care Assistance. We are proud to be a provider of home care Placer County families trust, offering flexible hourly and live-in care plans with no long-term contracts or upfront fees required. Call 916-226-3737 for more information and learn how we can help your aging parent or loved one find and carry out their passions.