Gardening is a wonderful pastime at any age. Gardening helps you get outside and connect with nature, and can have several positive impacts on mental health. Gardening allows any person, at any age, the ability to be a nurturer and connect with other living things. It can also help you relax and stay in the present moment. All of these benefits make gardening a great activity for seniors.
Gardening for the Elderly
Gardening is a great hobby for seniors since in addition to the mental health benefits that go along with getting out into nature, gardening can also provide a light aerobic workout. Bending, kneeling, pulling weeds, and carrying watering cans can all be incorporated into gardening to make a low-intensity work out. But what about seniors with limited mobility who cannot kneel or bend or who need assistance with heavy lifting? Luckily, there are many simple things you can do to provide gardening support for the elderly.
Easy Gardening for Seniors
Start with raised garden beds to eliminate any need for kneeling or bending in order to reach plants and weeds. Make sure the beds are not too wide so the center is easily accessible. If possible, grow plants along trellises or tomato cages so they grow upward instead of low to the ground. This will make harvesting vegetables easier and save space. You can also install an irrigation system to remove the need for daily watering.
Container Gardening for Seniors
Container gardening is perfect for seniors because it can happen anywhere. As the name implies, container gardening just means you garden in pots and containers rather than the ground. These pots can be whatever size you need, and can be moved into the house so the senior can keep enjoying the garden in cold weather or if moving around outside becomes too difficult for them. Indoor gardening activities for seniors offer the same benefits as gardening outside with less of the challenges. The containers can be raised to avoid bending, and even put on casters so they can be easily moved. Look for a soilless potting mix which holds moisture well and weighs much less than using dirt from your outdoor garden.
Gardening Help for Seniors
Don’t forget to enlist the help of friends and relatives to do the heavy lifting when working in your garden. If a relative can’t help, consider hiring a landscaping company or other gardening services for the elderly to help convert your lawn or garden to make it senior friendly. Install benches in shaded spots and create wide sloping paths in place of steps. Finally, if gardening at your home isn’t an option, look for a community garden in your area.
There are many ways to overcome the challenges presented by keeping a garden and make it easy for a senior citizen to enjoy horticulture. Don’t miss out on the great benefits you can get from gardening!