By Amanda Cassman, Certified Concierge Care Advisors
It is that time of year that everyone is getting their gardens ready, and even if your senior loved one is not at home, they can still enjoy gardening wherever they are. Many Assisted Living, Adult Family Homes and Memory Care Communities use gardens to keep their seniors engaged, and it something that everyone seems to enjoy!
Exercise– Gardening is a great form of exercise and you don’t even realize you are doing it! Gardening also increases mobility and utilizes muscles you may not be using ever day.
Alzheimer’s– Studies have shown that gardening can not only help prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s but it can also slow it down once you have been diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. When gardening, you are using problem solving, endurance, and sensory awareness.
Social- Many Senior Communities have a garden with a garden club that gives their residents the opportunity to work together and gain new friendships. Staying social also lowers depression, gives you a sense of belonging, and keeps your brain engaged.
Once you have a senior or seniors who are ready to enjoy gardening, you must keep in mind how to keep them safe. A few safety precautions will go a long way.
- Raised Garden Bends– Having a raised garden bed will help prevent a senior from falling or bending too low because a raised bed allows them to move more freely.
- Gardening Tools– Regular gardening tools can be heavy and hard to handle, so providing light weight buckets, watering cans and other tools can help make handling them better, as well has less physically stressful on their muscles.
- Sun Protection– We all want to garden more once the sun is out, so make sure you have water for them to drink and avoid gardening during the hottest part of the day. Having them wear sunscreen and a hat will also help protect them from the sun.
Gardening has been proven to not only be a fun activity, but also has many health benefits for seniors. If your senior can not get outside, consider getting a mini garden that you can put in their windowsill and still watch it grow!