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Home Gardening for Seniors: What You Need to Know

By Kevin McClarren, 8:00 am on

As people age, it’s necessary to help them maintain a steady, moderate routine of physical activity, emotional fulfillment, and quality time with Mother Nature. Gardening is a holistic, low-effort way to meet all these needs at once. It’s the ultimate salve for the aging soul.

If you are thinking about introducing your loved one to gardening so they can enjoy the activity’s many benefits, keep in mind that older adults have certain special needs and that the gardening process will have to be adapted to account for those needs. To make sure that the senior gardener stays safe, comfortable, and enjoys their time taking care of the plants, here are some tips to get you started, presented by Home Care Assistance Warren:

  • Shade and Seating – Older adults who spend a lot of time outdoors need to protect themselves from exposure to the sun’s harsh rays. Therefore, ensure the gardening area has plenty of shady spots to provide a cool refuge. This can be accomplished with trees, a gazebo, awnings, covered patios, and other constructions. Then, outfit shady areas with comfortable seating arrangements to promote easy breaks and relaxing down-time in view of the growing plants.
  • Watering – Gardens must be watered to stay healthy, but this doesn’t have to be back-breaking labor. For many seniors, constant bending-over or squatting is ill-advised, so install an automated irrigation system that operates according to a timer. This will help minimize effort for fragile gardeners and keep gardening fun, easy, and safe.
  • Choice of Plants – The choice of plants for a garden is an opportunity to make things easy for an aging gardener. For example, as a labor-saving measure, you can recommend plants that have minimal water needs. Native plants are ideal for this purpose. They are well-adapted to local conditions and can thrive even in the care of forgetful or slow-moving gardeners. Why not accompany the senior in your life to a local nursery that carries native plants and encourage them to pick their favorite varieties?

Along with being a fun and simple activity to enjoy, researchers report that gardening can have calming effects on the mind and body, helping to lower senior blood pressure and stress levels. Studies have also shown that the act of gardening or simply spending time in a garden can help ease feelings of anxiety and fear in seniors who require dementia or Alzheimer’s home care in Warren.

Want to learn more about activities for seniors? Contact Home Care Assistance of Warren at 908-450-9400 and schedule a free consultation with one of our friendly Care Managers. We provide hourly and live-in care, and also provide specialty services including Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s and stroke care for seniors in Warren.