Gardening is one of the most effective ways for seniors to maintain a healthy active lifestyle into old age. It’s a rich and rewarding activity that stimulates the senses, reconnecting you with nature and depending on what you plant, rewarding you with beautiful and delicious byproducts. Gardening also provides its benefits to your physical health, helping you get a moderate amount of exercise and sunlight. According to one study published by Kansas State University, gardening is an excellent way for seniors to shed calories and increase flexibility.
When we are young, gardening can seem like a slow, methodical process of simply watering, digging, and pruning. However, an aging body cannot be subject to the same physical exertions that would tire out a younger person. Gardening involves squatting, bending, lifting, sweating, and more, which all become more difficult to do as we age. Seniors may not be able to complete workout routines at the gym, but gardening can be fun physical labor that also results in beautiful and fruitful plants.
Health Benefits of Gardening
Although some medical conditions could restrict an older person from gardening, there shouldn’t be too many physical barriers to growing and maintaining a healthy garden. Some of the health benefits of gardening include:
There are a number of ways you can make your garden more friendly and accessible to a senior gardener. It all starts with reducing the amount of work and obstacles that could get in the senior’s way.
Guide to Senior Gardening
Seniors will need to take a number of precautions before they start any medium to a large gardening project. Protection against both the elements, their own frailty, and bothersome pests is of paramount concern. Here are some tips and guidelines for seniors to adhere to if they decide to start a gardening project.
If your senior is not familiar with the basics of gardening, there are some simple places to start that can help them earn their green thumb eventually. Start small with potted herbs. These types of plants are low maintenance and easy to transport. You could even keep them in a window or other place that gets a decent amount of sunlight. Plants like basil and oregano allow you to add fresh herbs to whatever your cooking. Once your senior has mastered these plants, they can move on to other vegetables such as bell peppers and tomatoes. There are also customizable garden beds that can be adjusted to fit those in wheelchairs. These types of beds are also easier to drain, lessening the risk of root rot. Vertical gardens are a bit more complicated but can be rewarding for those able to do them.
When you or your loved ones are ready to take the next step and find a senior living community that’s right for them, look no further. Landmark Senior Living offers assisted living, independent living, memory care and more. At Landmark, you are ensuring that your loved ones are in the best hands for the care they need.