Besides always having beautiful plants to flatter one's eye and something fresh to add to the healthy meal, gardening has many more benefits as a senior activity. Did you know about all the benefits and why gardening is a great activity for the elderly? Let's discuss.
Why choosing this activity:
Gardening = lower stress level & better mood
According to the research by Wageningen University and Research Center, gardening activities significantly lowered the participants’ level of cortisol, therefore reducing stress and showing a valuable improvement of mental state. So spending a few hours a day in a natural environment as a fun activity for seniors can as well work as an anti-stress treatment session
Gardening = outdoors physical activity
Fresh air and exercise - what can be better? Also, the usual garden “training plan”, including planting, mulching, watering and adding compost to the soil can be accompanied by some other physical exercises we wrote about earlier (check it out here - How to stay healthy at any age).
Gardening = lower risk of dementia
This is real - the research included 3000 adults with cases of dementia and lasted for 16 years to observe how different lifestyle and habits influence the risk of dementia. The results were inspiring - daily gardening reduced the incidence by 36%.
Gardening = strengthening the immune system
First of all, vegetables and fruits that have been planted, grown and gathered in one's own garden are a great source of vitamins. Second of all, there are a “friendly” bacteria in soil that can be inhaled while gardening and can do wonders: fade the symptoms of allergies, asthma, help to fight depressions and much more.
How to start:
Make it as easy as possible
Remember that it’s important to make an easily accessible garden. Choose a suitable place, make sure that there are raised beds built and the place has some resting spots with benches to take breaks when needed.
Walkers, canes, wheelchair accessible paths, a spot to store the equipment
Reading a few guides and articles about gardening for beginners
Deciding what plants to grow, how to care for them
If starting to garden seems hard, try container gardening
Recommend it to:
Active seniors who love to spend time outdoors and don’t mind getting their hands dirty
Those who want to find energetic activities to do with grandkids
If you hired a home care agency, that’s the perfect outdoor activity for the elderly to do with their assistance
As a conclusion, we recommend to try gardening and follow the small steps we discussed today. It will not only keep your health up but be a nice family activity and a way to be relaxed, calm, and focused.