“Gardening adds years to your life, and life to your years.” ~ Anonymous
Gardening is a seed that, once sown, never dies! It is a universal activity that not just Australian seniors, but seniors from across the globe enjoy and relish. In fact, you would be surprised to know the many benefits that gardening provides to people of all ages, especially seniors. It offers a channel for creativity, physical activity, increases your interaction with nature and all of this improves mental and physical health. With lots of information available on the internet and easy access to tools and other materials required, gardening is the perfect hobby.
Benefits of Gardening for Seniors
Here are some benefits of gardening for seniors:
- It is a joyful activity that keeps you happy and keeps you feeling optimistic throughout the day.
- Stimulates the use of motor skills like walking, reaching out, bending, turning, etc., for performing activities like sowing seeds, cutting, and planting the cuttings.
- It is a great hobby for improving flexibility and mobility.
- The digging and sowing can help improve your endurance and strength.
- Gardening is a good way to de-stress. In fact, gardening is a very relaxing and non-competitive hobby. It also promotes good sleep!
- Spending time outdoors in your garden is refreshing and improves your mental awareness. It boosts concentration and focus– all of which are needed for good mental health.
- There is a great sense of accomplishment when your plants are growing and fruiting well!
- If you grow fruits and veggies in your garden, gardening is a good way to enjoy some home-grown produce.
- Gardening may help in the prevention and management of diseases like osteoporosis.
Health-Related Precautions to be Considered
Despite the many benefits of gardening, seniors must consider their health while gardening. Here’s why:
- As you grow older, your skin begins to thin out and become fragile. This makes you more susceptible to minor cuts, bruises or injuries while gardening.
- Vision-related issues may be common in senior adults, and this may restrict some gardening activities. This also calls for caution while using gardening tools to avoid accidents.
- Precautions need to be taken by seniors who enjoy gardening but have mental health illnesses like dementia.
- Seniors are prone to changes in temperature. If you tend to get dehydrated due to heat and exhaustion, you might want to plan your daily gardening time accordingly.
- Though gardening is good for your bones, muscles and joints, people with conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis may find their movements restricted.
Despite these struggles, gardening is a very beneficial hobby for seniors, and there are many ways to go about this activity safely.
Tips to Make Gardening Easier
If you are already pumped up about gardening, here are some tips we thought would be extremely handy!
- While horizontal planting is very common, you can try vertical gardening by making plant beds on walls and trellis areas.
- If you find it difficult to bend for too long, you can always raise your garden beds to a comfortable height.
- There are plenty of adaptable tools and accessories that are available for seniors.
- You can use foam or plastic tubing to modify the tools you have if getting a good grip on your tools is challenging.
- If you feel your gardening tools are too heavy, you can pick lighter tools.
- Those of you who have a large garden can consider adding a shade or two where you can take a break, drink a cold beverage and relax between your gardening work. This is particularly useful in the hot summer months.
- It may be a good idea to arrange your garden in a way that you can schedule your work segment-wise.
- If watering your garden every day seems tedious, invest in a good drip-irrigation system that ensures your plants are timely watered.
- Have many potted plants? Tend to them by placing them on a table or landing which is at a comfortable height.
- If you are spending a great deal of your time tending to your garden, keep yourself hydrated at all times.
Gardening is way more therapeutic than you may think. It is a very stimulating physical activity and offers joy and excitement to many people. If you are contemplating revamping your garden or want to grow your own little green space – go for it! We promise you a life-transforming journey ahead.