A blooming garden can be pleasing to the eyes and nose. But gardening is not just for beautifying your home. Gardening is a stimulating hobby that offers loads of health and therapeutic benefits to people of all ages. But seniors can really benefit from spending time in the garden as it provides exercise, relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, improves mental health, and much more.
In summer, gardening is a refreshing activity for seniors to spend time outdoors and enjoy its numerous health benefits. However, the garden tools and accessories can be modified to suit the needs of seniors.
Gardening is a natural therapy solution for your older loved ones. It keeps them healthy, strong, and active as they age and can lower the risk of developing avoidable diseases. Read on and learn more about the health benefits of gardening for seniors.
Gardening and its Health Benefits for Seniors
Here are the surprising health benefits of gardening for seniors:
Gardening boosts immunity. Cultivating plants and digging in dirt may seem a little messy, but this little dirt actually benefits you. Studies show that Mycobacterium vaccae, which is present in garden soil, improves the immune system. Also, this bacteria helps alleviate symptoms of asthma, allergies, depression, and psoriasis.
Gardening boosts Vitamin D levels and improves bone health. When you work in the garden outdoors, you get a regular dose of Vitamin D from sunlight. Sunlight provides 70-80% of Vitamin D to the body, a powerful nutrient for the human body. It helps maintain bone strength and improve metabolic functions as well. In addition, Vitamin D supports the renewal of bone, enhances calcium absorption, and helps keep healthy muscles.
Gardening relieves stress and anxiety. People in older age become anxious quickly about various things, which can be stressful. Seniors experience hopelessness or restlessness when they've got to depend on someone. However, engaging in gardening activities and connecting with nature gives them a sense of self-worth and responsibility, which benefits their mental health and well-being.
This hobby increases serotonin levels in seniors and lowers cortisol levels. Therefore, it is a natural therapy that reduces stress and anxiety, boosts mood, and helps with better sleep.
Seniors who garden have a lower risk of dementia.In addition to providing stress relief and a significant Vitamin D boost, gardening lowers the risk of dementia in seniors. Gardening is a physically stimulating activity that involves cognitive functions. Therefore, seniors who garden have an active mind. Studies show that daily gardening may reduce the risk of dementia by 36% in older adults.
Gardening involves critical thinking, which also lowers the risk of Alzheimer's in seniors. Seniors can improve their motor skills, strength, and endurance by spending just a little time in the garden.
Gardening offers seniors high-quality produce. Another excellent benefit of gardening is that it can improve your health by providing organic and nutritious fruits and vegetables. Growing and eating fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables from your own garden makes this hobby more appealing.
Elders are at higher risk of nutritional deficiencies, so gardening allows them to eat high-quality produce from their own garden. Also, it assures that the fruits and vegetables that you grow are healthier, fresher, and better tasting than those from stores.
Gardening provides seniors with an enjoyable gentle exercise. Gardening is a great way to get much-needed gentle exercise. Activities like digging, lifting, pruning, weeding, watering, and pulling; work out your muscles and increase stamina, strength, and flexibility. Seniors spend a lot of their time sitting or sleeping; thus, they've reduced mobility.
Gardening offers the opportunity to exercise. Regular gardening activity has been shown to lower morbidity risk in seniors and helps them stay active safely. However, it is recommended to grow plants that are easier to grow and care for and do not require greater maintenance.
Gardening provides seniors with social opportunities and strengthens social connections. Community gardens provide inclusive green spaces where people can plant their fruits and vegetables and connect with other gardeners. Seniors can interact with their old and new friends there. If your senior does not have access to a home garden and he wants to make social connections, a community garden is a great option.
Social connections are therapeutic because isolation isn't healthy for seniors. Older people who socialize more enjoy better health and live longer than those who remain isolated. For this purpose, community gardens provide excellent opportunities for seniors to interact socially.
Gardening Activities and Safety Tips for Seniors
There are lots of activities associated with gardening that seniors may enjoy. These include:
- Repotting plants
- Planting flowers
- Planting seasonal vegetables
- Harvesting vegetables and flowers
- Growing herbs in raised beds or pots
- Decorating the garden
- Sensory enjoyment like touching, smelling, looking, and listening
Most importantly, older people should follow safety tips to make the gardening experience pleasant and enjoy health benefits.
- Wear sunscreen and a hat frequently to protect yourself from UV rays
- Prevent sun exposure by spending time in the garden in the early morning or evening
- Wear gardening gloves, protective shoes, and light, comfortable clothes while working in the garden
- Stay hydrated by drinking water and juice
- Take regular breaks and spend time in the shaded area
- Use lightweight garden tools that are easier to handle
- Store garden tools and accessories safely
These simple rules will help you enjoy your hobby while taking care of yourself.
The Bottom Line
If you still need to get into gardening, you should. A refreshing hobby like gardening can benefit your physical, emotional, and mental health. Spending time in the garden and caring for your plants is a natural remedy that older adults should embrace because of its numerous health benefits.
Summer is about to begin, and gardening is a fun activity for seniors in summer. No matter the size of your garden, you can still enjoy all these benefits. You can even set up a small garden on your balcony or join a community garden. So, it's the perfect time to get out and enjoy nature and its benefits!
If you're looking for the best garden tools and equipment or garden kits, look no further. DripWorks provides quality garden tools and accessories that are lightweight and perfectly designed for seniors. Check out DripWorks Garden Kits, Deck and Garden Kit, and other accessories to make your gardening experience more pleasing and beneficial.