Regular activity is a crucial component of senior health and wellness. Many older adults wanting to stay physically active participate in walking, swimming, or other kinds of exercises. However, you also have a wide range of alternatives. One activity you may not have considered is gardening. By following certain precautions, the vast majority of seniors can garden successfully. What’s more, regular participation in gardening can provide you with some significant health benefits.
Reach out to Parkway Place at 281.305.1846 for more enrichment tips for seniors.
Gardening for Seniors
The term gardening covers an array of activities required to grow food, flowers, or shrubs. The most common examples of these activities include:
- Preparing soil
- Sowing seeds or planting
- Watering at regular intervals
- Harvesting crops
- Cutting flowers for display
Your gardening routine may also include prepping or storing the food you grow.
The Benefits of Gardening for Seniors
Gardening is known to provide seniors with both mental and physical health advantages. The long list of these advantages includes:
- Providing you with an enjoyable option for regular exercise
- Helping you build strength and increase your endurance
- Fostering improvement in your mobility and joint flexibility
- Helping you manage stress and anxiety
- Improving your ability to coordinate your motor skills
- Decreasing your susceptibility to osteoporosis
- Boosting your immune function
- Making it easier to control your weight
- Helping you preserve your mental function
- Supporting your heart health
If you garden in the company of others, you can also increase your opportunities for enjoyable social interaction.
Gardening Help for Seniors – Potential Health Considerations
To garden safely, seniors must keep their current health in mind. Various aspects of your physical and mental condition may be especially important. For example, thinning of your skin can increase your risk for sunburn and other injuries. Many seniors have increased fall risks as a result of significant joint issues.
Age-related changes in your vision may add another layer of potential risk. The same holds true for dementia and other mental health challenges. In addition, seniors are often sensitive to high outdoor temperatures. Elevated temperatures can contribute to dehydration. They can also increase your risks for heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Fortunately, you can do things to minimize your health risks while gardening. Common recommendations include such things as:
- Warming up before you start gardening
- Using sunscreen
- Protecting your arms and legs with suitable, lightweight clothing
- Gardening in the cooler parts of the day
- Wearing a hat with a wide brim
- Drinking plenty of water
- Taking regular breaks to avoid overexerting yourself
- Avoiding gardening in unfavorable outdoor conditions
It’s also important to modify your work environment. Many options in this area provide gardening help for seniors. For example, tools with foam grips can help protect your joints. The same holds true for lightweight tools. Other useful items for senior gardeners include extension poles and grabbers.
You can also modify the garden itself. Many seniors increase the ease of gardening with raised planting beds. Vertical planting on a trellis or wall can also make gardening easier for older adults.
Discover the Benefits of Gardening for Seniors at Parkway Place
Want to learn more about the many advantages of gardening for seniors? Talk to the senior living experts at Parkway Place. We’re happy to help you explore the benefits of this activity. We can also explain how to garden safely at all times.
Gardening is just one of the many activities available at Parkway Place. Our goal is to help you stay in good health while maximizing the enjoyment of your daily routine. Call us today at 281.305.1846 for a full rundown of our activity options. You can also complete our online form.