Late Blooming: Why Gardening is Good for the Elderly

Posted on Aug 7 2018 - 3:23am

a man watering the plantsGardening is more than an activity to beautify your home and increase its curb appeal. They likewise offer many benefits to the elderly, from uplifting moods and relieving stress to encouraging physical activity.

Here’s a rundown of the benefits of gardening for seniors:

It reduces dementia risk

Dementia is a common problem among seniors, causing memory problems, confusion and the inability to perform everyday tasks. Healthy eating and regular exercise can help reduce the risks of dementia. Studies add that gardening can help as well, lowering the risks of the disease by 36%.

Experts say that this is because the activity requires sensory awareness, making it like a brain exercise for seniors. In addition, gardening allows people to use their motor skills, which, in turn, improves physical strength and endurance.

If you would want gardening to be the exercise your aging parent does, you need to take note of two things: safety and comfort. Be sure to let them do only the gardening tasks they can handle physically and allow them to take a break every now and then. If you want to provide seating areas, consider getting some of the outdoor garden benches for sale online.

It prevents depression

Gardening offers an avenue where people can interact with nature, and research shows that spending time in nature uplifts moods and reduces symptoms of depression.

Gardening is most useful for older people who are vulnerable to depression and isolation. Seniors often develop this problem as they witness overwhelming life changes, such as the death of a spouse, transitioning into retirement or dealing with a serious illness. Giving them an avenue to see the wonders of nature can help ward off anxiety and depression.

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It improves the immune system

Dirt is very much part of gardening activities. It is messy, yet the bacteria in the soil you get in contact with can boost the immune system, boosting your body’s ability to fight infections. This is so important because as people age, the immune system responds in a slower manner, making seniors sick more often. Sometimes, it’s unable to identify and repair cell defects as well, which results in increased risks for cancer.

Gardening is good for the elderly. Encourage your aging parents to spend time outdoors with the plants and the fresh air.