Discover the Many Benefits of Gardening for Older Adults
The cool dampness of rich soil. The warmth of the sun’s rays. The joyful trills of songbirds. Gardening has the capacity to engage so many of our senses, and offers a great deal of positive benefits to seniors. Regardless of ability level or any space restrictions, there is always a way to help those you love reap the many benefits of gardening for older adults through the joys of planting outdoors or indoors, watching new growth appear, and harvesting.
What Are Some Other Benefits of Gardening for Older Adults?
- A brighter outlook on life. Research has revealed that compared to other hobbies, gardening is the winner in improving mood and fighting stress levels. Participants in the study worked on a stress-inducing task, and were then asked to either spend 30 minutes gardening outside, or 30 minutes reading inside. Blood tests clearly showed a decreased level of cortisol – a stress hormone – in the gardening test group.
- Enhanced strength, flexibility, and stamina. Gardening can actually provide a cardio workout in some instances, but even sitting in place while undertaking gardening tasks will help strengthen and build muscles. The basic acts of bending, twisting, reaching, and pulling can also increase flexibility and stamina.
- Lowered dementia risk. A fascinating and comprehensive study of approximately 3,000 participants has found that dementia risk is decreased by up to 36 percent in adults over age 60 who took part in gardening and similar physical activities.
- The chance to make friends. Community gardens bring neighbors together for a common purpose, providing opportunities to build friendships. The American Community Gardening Association offers its members the ability to find a community garden in their area – or, to start a new one.
An indoor garden is perfect for those who cannot get outside or when the weather is not cooperating. Decorate small clay pots with paint or markers, and fill with potting soil and a variety of herb seeds. Or create a terrarium with a glass bowl, small stones/shells/etc., potting soil, and some small succulents.
Need some other indoor gardening activity ideas? Find ten easy ideas here, and call on Hired Hands Homecare, the leading home care company in Santa Rosa, CA and the surrounding areas, for a care companion to help! Our compassionate care team is always available to help older adults live life to the fullest through interesting activities such as gardening, along with:
- Reminiscing and conversations
- Mind-stimulating puzzles and games
- Fun outings
- Favorite (or new) hobbies: crocheting, knitting, mastering a musical instrument or language – the ideas are endless!
Contact us any time for a free in-home consultation to learn more about a more enriching life for an older adult you love!