Gardening with the Elderly: Some Useful Tips and Benefits
There are very few activities which are as pleasing and rewarding as gardening. It is a classic hobby that has lost some of its appeal in recent years. People have become so obsessed with modern technology that they find it unexciting to explore the wonders of nature that can be found at their own backyard. They have forgotten how gardening can beautify their lives and improve their state of mind.
Given its wonderful benefits, gardening is the perfect activity for many senior citizens in our country. If you are looking to spend some quality time with your aging loved one, then get them involved in gardening with you.
Effects of Garden Therapy on Alzheimer’s and Dementia
According to some studies, garden therapy has helped people with Alzheimer’s to recover faster. Researchers in the United Kingdom were able to establish a connection between garden therapy and relief from anxiety. Garden therapy works really well for people suffering from dementia. This is why you are strongly advised to spend some time in the garden with your elderly loved one. The moments you two share in the garden will be highly appreciated by your aging parent or grandparent. It would also give you a good reason to take time off other activities and interact with the person who is truly in need of your company.
The Benefits of Gardening with Your Loved Ones
The benefits of gardening with your loved ones cannot be stressed enough. It is a thoroughly enjoyable experience that will make your day and that of your aging parent more blissful.
1) Keeps Them Busy
The entire cycle of planning, planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting is a fantastic activity for the mind, body, and soul of your elderly parent. It is going to keep them busy and allow them to look forward to something nearly every single day. Elderly people often complain about not having enough to do. These complaints are completely understandable. They have spent an entire lifetime staying busy. Now that they are confined within the four walls of their house, they begin to feel redundant and useless.
2) Creates Conversations
Conversations with your aging parents become few and far between as time progresses. To bring back those discussions, you need to do something together. When you are planting flowers or plants with your aging parents, you find it easier to slip into long conversations. It is all about creating a flow of words to feed your train of thoughts. Once the conversation gets rolling, you will discover that there is so much to talk about concerning the past, the present, and the future.
3) Exposes Them to Fresh Air and Sunlight
Watching television all day on a chair or lying asleep in bed for 9 to 10 hours a day can turn out be an exhausting routine for your aging parent. They need a break away from the monotony of the indoors. This is where gardening proves to be immensely helpful. Gardening on a beautiful day in summer or spring will give your loved ones an opportunity to bask in the glorious sunlight and breathe in the refreshing air outside. The presence of sunlight and air can be therapeutic for elderly individuals.
4) Heals Them with Aromatherapy
The sights, smells and sounds in a garden can be very healing for an elderly person. Watching a vibrant flower blossom in the morning sunlight or enjoying the fragrance of freshly cut grass could help your loved one free their mind of all worries and apprehensions. Once they come back inside the house, they will feel rejuvenated and re-energized.
Some Helpful Tips to Consider
Once you get your loved ones interested in gardening, your goal should be to enhance the overall experience in whatever way you can. Keep an eye out for their safety and comfort. You wouldn’t want them to feel tired or exhausted after a session of gardening.
1) Create a Raised Bed
This will reduce the need to kneel or bend over the garden. Raised bed kits can be easily found on the market.
2) Let Them Decide:
Elderly folks would not be interested to plant a myriad of plants. A few are enough to satisfy their gardening needs. Make sure that you let them pick the plants that are to be grown in the garden.
3) Go for Early Morning or Late Afternoon Gardening
Early morning or late afternoon is the ideal time for gardening with your elderly parent. Heading outdoors during this period of time minimizes the risk of being affected by heat or humidity.