Part of independent living is keeping healthy and fit as you age. So, the benefits of gardening for senior citizens are many, varied and enjoyable. As an added bonus too, you get something for the end result that’s beautiful or edible. Gardening also helps to increase not only mobility and flexibility, but the physical activity is great as well because it can cut heart attack and stroke risks.
Gardening additionally uses all the motor skills so it helps in retaining them as well as helping to improve both endurance and physical strength. Best of all, it promotes relaxation and relieves stress and improves the feeling of wellbeing along with adding to healthy living. Gardening can also bring back happy memories if this was done when younger, or it can make new memories for those who are new to it. Plus, you can enjoy the harvest with friends.
But when gardening, there are some health considerations also. Because an older person’s skin is much more fragile, there’s a susceptibility to bruises, bumps and sunburn. In addition, poorer eyesight and a loss of peripheral vision may have to be taken into consideration as with any other activity. Too, awareness in changes of temperature is important throughout the day because with temperature changes there could be an overheating issue. Heat can be especially deadly for seniors. Falling may be a concern additionally if the senior’s balance isn’t good. But if an elderly person is careful, these cautions shouldn’t prevent someone from enjoying gardening.
The good news too is that there have been adjustments to garden tools and to actual garden designs for seniors. For example, vertical planting can be used to make garden beds more accessible by using using walls and trellises.
Too, some independent living centers have raised beds which enable seniors with physical restrictions to avoid stooping, kneeling or bending when gardening. In addition, movable and elevated garden beds can be placed on casters for easier mobility. Plus; retractable hanging baskets will bring the basket to the senior instead of the senior to the basket. There are now special tools for people also who have arthritis in their hands and fingers for easier gripping and digging.
Gardening’s stimulating, physically rewarding and healthy; and it can be enjoyed by many older people. It also fosters a sense of independence as well as boosting mental health. So gardening is good for seniors in so many different ways.