The cool dampness of fresh soil. The heat of the sunshine. The joyous music of songbirds. Gardening has the capacity to engage so many of our senses, and provides a wealth of positive benefits to seniors. No matter what the ability level or any space restrictions, there’s always a way to help older adults experience the joys of planting indoors or outdoors, watching new growth emerge, and harvesting.
Spark interest (or renew interest) in the wonderful world of gardening for a senior you adore, and discover:
- A brighter outlook on life. Studies have shown that compared to other hobbies, gardening is 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 thirty minutes reading inside. Blood tests clearly showed a lowered quantity of cortisol – a stress hormone – in the gardening test group.
- Enhanced flexibility, strength, and stamina. Believe it or not, gardening can provide a cardio workout in many cases, but even sitting in place while undertaking gardening tasks will help strengthen and build muscles. The simple acts of bending, reaching, twisting, and pulling can also increase flexibility and stamina.
- Lowered dementia risk. An interesting and detailed study of nearly 3,000 participants has revealed that dementia risk is reduced by as much as 36 percent in adults over age 60 who participated in gardening and similar physical activities.
- The chance to socialize. Community gardens bring neighbors together for a common purpose, offering opportunities to build friendships. The American Community Gardening Association offers its members a chance to search for a community garden in their area – or, to start a new one.
An indoor garden is great for those who cannot get outside or if the weather isn’t cooperating. Decorate small clay pots with paint or markers, and fill with potting soil and a range of herb seeds. Or create a terrarium with a glass bowl, small shells/stones/etc., potting soil and some small succulents.
Need some additional indoor gardening activity ideas? Find 10 simple ideas here, and get in touch with JFS Care for a caregiver to help! Our compassionate care team is always available to help older adults live life to the fullest through enjoyable activities such as gardening, along with:
- Reminiscing and conversations
- Mind-stimulating puzzles and games
- Engaging outings
- Favorite (or new) hobbies: crocheting, knitting, mastering a language or musical instrument – the ideas are endless!
JFS Care employs only the best caregivers for in-home care in Santa Monica and the surrounding areas. Contact us online or call us at 213-383-2273 any time for a free in-home consultation to learn more about how our care team can help with a more enriching life for a cherished older adult!