Gardening for senior health benefits are as plentiful as seeds on a poppy. Studies show that getting down and garden-dirty is a great way to boost physical and mental health. Gardening allows you to exercise your body and brain, whether you live alone or in an assisted-living facility. It’s also a great form of engagement in the community.
Top 5 Health Benefits for Gardening Seniors
The benefits of gardening for seniors include:
1. Exercise and burning calories
It can help you burn 200 to 400 calories an hour by planting and pulling weeds. Gardening involves bending, squatting, pushing, and pulling to move the body.
To protect your muscles from weakening, you don’t need to drive around a big wheelbarrow. You’ll get the workout you need for a few hours of gardening a week.
3. Vitamin D
While you don’t want to overdo it, a couple of hours of sunlight exposure will give you more vitamin D than a glass of milk at night.
Gardening increases coordination, which helps keep the brain and body in sync. It also reduces stress-producing levels of cortisol and increases serotonin; a relaxing brain chemistry that puts you in a good mood.
5. Decreases risk of dementia
The physical demands of gardening and critical thinking skills as to what to plant and how to take care of it reduce Alzheimer’s chances.
What Are the Best Plants to Have in your Garden
Seniors and their families can work together during the season to grow delicious vegetables in containers or in a plot of soil. In spring, seedlings grow broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. During early summer, the same applies to tomatoes and peppers. Strawberries and blueberries will grow in small spaces, but they will need some spreading space.
Flowers are pretty nice any time of year, but it is best to stick to flowers native to your area when growing them outdoors. You don’t need a green thumb due to low maintenance of native flowers. Flowers that make a garden much brighter include:
- Black-eyed Susan
- Purple coneflower
- Grape hyacinth
How to Stay Safe Outdoors
It can be a danger to be outside for even a few minutes, particularly in your later years, or when you look after an elderly parent. Be safe by:
Even if the sun is not particularly hot, ultraviolet rays can lead to red and burning skin. It can lead to severe sunburns.
Latching gates and repairing damaged fencing
This will help to keep away unwanted animals. It is also necessary to secure the area if memory loss or wandering is a concern.
Keeping a first-aid kit handy
Tend as soon as possible to scratches, bruises and bites of insects.
Storing all gardening tools in their proper place
Spades, trowels, and rakes can cause hazards. Take special care when handling power tools powered by electricity and batteries.
Knowing your limits
Especially when you’re out in hot weather gardening and take a break as you need.
Fairmont Grand Senior Living Community
Fairmont Grand is a resident centered senior living and memory care facility in Rapid City, SD. Our goal is to create an environment where resident well-being is at the heart of everything we do.
Our wide range of services are designed to meet you or your loved one’s daily needs. We offer restaurant style dining options, a variety of physical activities, and give residents the opportunity to live as independently as possible.