Apr 5, 2018 by Katie Fielmann
The English poet Alfred Austin once noted, "The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul." Perhaps he was just being poetic, but knowingly or not, he was on to something. Modern science has verified that gardening does help the body and the soul.
Since spring is a great time to plan gardens, gather supplies, prep the soil, and so forth, Comfort Keepers thought it would be the perfect time to encourage seniors to get out and garden. Consider these amazing benefits to this wonderful past-time:
Gardens inspire a sense of accomplishment. If your senior loved one is feeling less than fulfilled with their current activities, a garden can help them nurture both their body and their mind. As the plants grow, flowers, bloom, and perhaps even food is grown, the sense of accomplishment grows. For seniors who show off their creation, the praise and admiration of peers can also have tremendous benefits.
Planting a garden promotes mental stimulation. Planning and keeping a garden takes thought, activity, and dexterity (planting, weeding, pruning, picking, etc.). These activities help to keep the brain sharp. Seniors who regularly garden have a decreased risk of dementia and seniors with dementia can often reduce the symptoms through gardening. Seniors who need help with any aspect of gardening should not give up the prospect of a garden. Senior care providers can come alongside them to provide the support they need.
The effort required for gardening serves as exercise. Gardening does not just happen by itself. Working the soil, pulling the weeds, watering, and so forth takes time and effort. The physical aspects of gardening are good for the heart, lungs, muscles, and bones, as well as the mind. Even a few hours a week is enough to make a significant difference. If seniors need help with the "heavy lifting" or gathering tools, senior care providers can ensure gardening remains a safe and enjoyable activity.
Gardening is also a great way to reduce stress, socialize, and get a full dose of vitamin D.
If your senior loved one is not already an avid gardener, encourage them to give it a try. The benefits of this pastime are as plentiful as the plants your loved one will grow. For more information about senior gardening or the many ways Comfort Keepers senior care providers can help them with the process, contact a care coordinator today.
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