With summertime around the corner and COVID vaccines becoming more available, the seniors in our life can finally enjoy all that this great season brings! One of our favorites is gardening. There are a number of benefits of gardening for seniors, whether experienced or trying it out this year, below are the top reasons:
Gardening, while not seeming like much, really does help seniors stay active through low impact motions. These motions include bending over, removing plants from containers and placing them into the ground. It’s a great way to move at their own pace and do what he or she is capable of. If bending over is not an option, opting for a raised garden bed is always a great alternative. You don’t always have to be exercising to stay active!
After a year of staying mostly inside and at least 6 ft apart from everyone, gardening is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature’s natural beauty. Being outside has proven to reduce stress, anxiety and overall depression. Especially if you live in an area that experiences all four seasons, getting outside to enjoy the summer months is even more important. Did you know? Each year, the first week of May is National Air Quality Awareness Week. Fresh, quality air flow is so important we celebrate for a whole week every year!
With so many types of flowers, colors and sizes, gardening is a great way to allow the senior(s) in your life to show their creative side and make their own decisions! Allowing them to pick what flowers they want, whether to plant in the ground or in pots, the process strengthens their cognitive ability to make decisions. A lot of times for seniors, decisions are made for them or they are told what to do, this small act of decision making through gardening truly allows them to express their creativity and feel in control of a decision in their life.
If appropriate, have friends get together to pot plants together. Gardening can truly be a social activity that helps improve seniors’ overall sense of community. After the last year we’ve had, that sense of community is more important than ever! Since gardening is a great outdoor activity, it makes it easier for friends to get together to garden without fear of the pandemic. Social interaction also has psychological benefits, similar to what is listed above.
If you feel the senior in your life would enjoy gardening, now’s the time to get them started! It truly is a labor of love and will help your loved one thrive throughout the summer months, enjoying all that the season has to offer!