Gardening is a unique hobby because it cultivates a strong bond and appreciation for Mother Nature while also being highly beneficial for seniors in a number of ways. Whether gardening entails a small collection of (organic) herbs in the windowsill or a small plot of land that a community of seniors can tend, gardening is a great thing for everyone to get involved with and take great pride in.
Gardening is considered a healthy, therapeutic, and fun hobby for seniors, as it:
- Encourages an enjoyable form of exercise
- Increases levels of physical activity and helps mobility and flexibility
- Encourages use of all motor skills
- Improves endurance and strength
- Helps prevent diseases like osteoporosis
- Reduces stress levels and promotes relaxation
- Provides stimulation and interest in nature and the outdoors
- Improves well-being as a result of social interaction
- Can provide nutritious, home-grown produce
Creating accessible projects, such as container gardens, that can entail either a few potted plants or several varieties of vegetables and flowers encourages seniors to spend more time outside. Moreover, more time spent outside can help elevate your mood and vitamin D levels and promote relaxation. Despite being plants, most individuals still build strong connections with their gardens: it takes a lot of love, work, and attention to keep your plants alive and well! This means that seniors can have something to look forward to every day.
Of course, some seniors might not be able to complete all the necessary gardening tasks, such as lifting a heavy watering can every day. Luckily, there are smart water systems that exist specifically to make gardening easier. Depending on the size of the garden, smart irrigation could be a solution for difficult gardening tasks and preventing water from being wasted.
As explained by Hydropoint, “Unlike traditional irrigation controllers that operate on a preset programmed schedule and timers, smart irrigation controllers monitor weather, soil conditions, evaporation and plant water use to automatically adjust the watering schedule to actual conditions of the site.” Smart irrigation can also help save money, meaning more funds to put towards the garden.
If a community garden isn’t possible, there is always the option of seniors starting their own indoor garden. Indoor gardens can flourish just as well as outdoor ones. Seniors can start small with a tomato plant or invest in indoor garden tech such as Veritable, which “instantly delivers your plants with the lighting, nutrition, and watering required for them to grow.” Tech like this can also expand what seniors can grow indoors, as not all rooms have the proper sunlight required for a certain plants.
Gardening can inspire seniors to spend more time enjoying the outdoors. Of course, it’s important for seniors to know their limits, but keep in mind that there is technology available to make gardening a little bit easier on everyone. Whether that’s investing in smart irrigation or starting out small, encouraging seniors to get involved and pick up a stimulating hobby such as gardening can help them feel more independent, active, and accomplished.