Perhaps everyone associates horticulture with peace, meditation and an escape from the problems of everyday life. It is a peaceful, relaxing and rewarding activity for people of all ages, and for some, even a form of therapy. It is an activity that unites generations and people of different temperaments, and even has a healing effect, especially on the older adults. Therefore, today we will focus on the benefits of elderly gardening! We will also discuss gardening tools for the elderly and much more about what is important for seniors who want to take on this hobby.
What are the advantages of elderly gardening?
Gardening is one of the best activities we can do outdoors, regardless of our health or age. Elderly gardening stimulates all the senses, provides an opportunity to commune with nature, be a part of something, is rewarding with beautiful flowers and improves a senior’s well-being. It’s also a great way to spend time together with a caregiver, bonding and finding a common passion. According to a study conducted at Kansas State University, other benefits of gardening are also that this activity is a great way for aging individuals to get an aerobic workout. It allows seniors to indulge in moderate intensity physical activity, build muscle mass and regain their former flexibility. Elderly gardening is therefore a great activity for body and spirit, and now let’s find out some details.
Elderly gardening as body and spirit therapy
Gardening has many mental and physical benefits. Research published in the Journal of Health Psychology has shown that gardening can lower cortisol levels in the brain, which is essential for maintaining bodily functions, but is also known as the stress hormone. Another one of the benefits of gardening, is the improvement of the immune system, thanks to spending time outdoors. Moreover, research shows that activities that engage the senses provide positive emotions for people with Alzheimer’s disease, engage all the senses and can help people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia rediscover the world.
Elderly gardening is also an opportunity to care for something and a way to feel important. Apart from the beneficial role of physical exercise, hortiterapy also helps to maintain mental balance, reduces stress and improves concentration. So if you have a plot of land, a piece of garden or a balcony, you should consider growing plants with your senior. Working in the garden is not hard work, especially with some gardening aids for the elderly, and you can dose it in such a way that it doesn’t put too much strain on your body.
Elderly gardening as a way to spend time with a caregiver
Besides its undeniable advantages in terms of psychology and well-being, elderly gardening is a wonderful activity for the senior and their caregiver. It’s an activity that doesn’t require focus or excessive physical exertion and is the perfect excuse for bonding. It allows you to build or strengthen interpersonal bonds, relax, and enjoy all the other charms and benefits of gardening. On top of this, the caregiver can be a gardening help for seniors with mobility or fitness issues and take over all the physically demanding activities so the elderly person can enjoy the sheer pluses of this hobby.
Elderly gardening as physical exercise
Elderly gardening can also be a great idea to incorporate physical activity into a senior’s life. One of the main benefits of gardening is that it is an activity that will work great as a light aerobic exercise, endurance exercise, and stretching of muscles and joints. So it’s a great idea to improve fitness, lose weight, gain endurance and gain flexibility, all with minimal risk of injury. In addition, people with health and mobility problems can benefit from gardening aids for the elderly, which will make their work even more enjoyable.
Gardening help for seniors – top gardening tools for elderly
Older people often have to cope with chronic illnesses and loss of mobility, but this should not be an excuse to give up such a beneficial hobby as gardening! Especially as there are plenty of gardening aids for the elderly available on the market. The most popular gardening tools for the elderly include elongated and light gardening tools such as secateurs or rakes, special garden aprons which minimise the need to bend, and special folding garden seats. Besides, the best gardening help for seniors will be the helping hand of their carer!
These are all the advantages of elderly gardening! We hope we have convinced you to try this hobby with your senior! For more articles on elderly guardianship and senior living, please click here. Enjoy your gardening and reading!