During my childhood, I got the opportunities to hear lots of stories from my grandparents. Most of the stories were related with Nature, plants, birds and kings who ruled in our ancient days. Their stories showed how much they were close to Nature. When listening to those stories I felt that I was living with the characters in the story! They were so interesting!
Seniors usually love all kinds of nature-related programs. Gardening activities and special Horticultural Therapy indoor activities help them to discover the child in them. Here I want to share an article which briefly narrates about the importance and benefits of gardening for senior citizens. Enjoy!
“Gardening is a favorite activity of many seniors. Besides being enjoyable, it provides numerous health benefits. If you have an older parent, you should encourage them to remain active in a hobby like gardening.
How Gardening Can Keep You Healthy
Gardening has many benefits for overall physical and mental health. Here is a list of reasons to continue in this activity if it is a favorite.
- It provides exercise and improves mobility and flexibility. For seniors who don’t have appointments or schedules to keep, it can be easy to become inactive. Gardening is a fun activity that stimulates the body’s systems without seeming like exercise.
- It incorporates multiple areas of the body with bending, stooping, and reaching to provide overall fitness and improvement of motor skills.
- It improves endurance if you spend a lot of time in the garden. It also improves strength as you pull weeds and dig in the dirt.
- It can reduce stress levels and allow the person to relax, which promotes better sleep for improved health.
- It can help prevent or reduce problems with diseases like osteoporosis, which benefit from exercise.
- It helps improve mental awareness due to the fresh air and can help the senior maintain the ability to focus and concentrate.
- It provides social interaction with neighbors or people walking by.
- It provides a sense of accomplishment that the senior can still do something even if their body is failing in other areas.
- Growing your own vegetables in the garden can provide healthy food with nutritional value.
Credit:- Mariegriffiths at English Wikipedia
How to Make Gardening Safe
Seniors do not need to give up their gardening as they age. Many things can be modified to allow them to continue to participate in an activity they enjoy.
- Use patio plants in pots that can be placed at waist level.
- Create raised beds to prevent back strain.
- Buy lightweight tools and plastic buckets that are easier to handle.
- Make sure there is a shaded area near the garden for the senior to get out of the sun for awhile.
- Have a comfortable outdoor chair near so they can rest.
Make sure any cuts or insect bites are cleaned and treated immediately. If the person is unsteady, you may suggest that they don’t use power tools or put them away to prevent serious injury. Encourage them to wear sturdy shoes and protective gear such as gloves when working in the garden.
Horticultural Therapy can make the impact on cognitive skills of the seniors and so dementia and Alzheimer’s patients will get many benefits from this therapy. If you want to know more about this please contact us.