Seniors and Gardening: 4 Key Benefits and Ideas to Get You Started

Seniors and gardening: discover the incredible benefits of this perfect pairing.
Seniors and gardening: discover the incredible benefits of this perfect pairing.

The cool dampness of rich soil. The warmth of the sun. The delightful music of songbirds. Gardening has the ability to engage every one of our senses, and provides a great deal of positive benefits to seniors. No matter what the ability level or any space restrictions, there’s always a way to pair up seniors and gardening, helping the older adults you love to experience the joys of planting outdoors or indoors, watching new growth emerge, and harvesting.

Gain interest (or renew interest) in the wonderful world of gardening for a senior you love, and discover:

  • A brighter outlook on life. Research has discovered that in comparison to other hobbies, gardening is typically the winner in fighting stress levels and improving mood. Participants in the study worked on a stress-inducing task, and were then instructed to either spend thirty minutes gardening outside or reading inside. Blood tests clearly revealed a decreased quantity of cortisol – a stress hormone – within the gardening test group.
  • Improved flexibility, strength, and stamina. Believe it or not, gardening can actually provide a cardio workout in many cases, but even sitting in place while performing gardening tasks can help build and strengthen muscles. The simple acts of bending, reaching, twisting, and pulling also increase flexibility and stamina.
  • Less dementia risk. An interesting and large-scale study of nearly 3,000 participants has found that dementia risk is minimized up to 36% in adults over age 60 who take part in gardening and similar physical activities.
  • The opportunity to socialize. Community gardens bring neighbors together for a common purpose, offering opportunities to develop friendships. The American Community Gardening Association offers its members a chance to search for a community garden in their area – or, to start a brand new one.

An indoor garden is great for individuals who can’t get outside or if the weather isn’t 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 shells/stones/etc., potting soil and a few small succulents.

Need some additional indoor gardening activity ideas? Find ten simple ideas here, and call on Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, the leaders in home care in St. Joseph and other Michigan communities, for a care professional to help! Our caregivers are always available to help seniors live life to the fullest through engaging activities such as gardening, as well as:

Contact Us any time for a no-cost in-home assessment to get started on an even more enriching life for an older adult you love with our professional home care services for seniors. For a full list of the communities we serve, please see our Locations page. Reach us at (269) 373-5444 in Kalamazoo, (269) 763-5350 in Paw Paw, (269) 849-9252 in St. Joseph, or (269) 963-9888 in Battle Creek.

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