Since older adults spend most of their time indoors, it is necessary to engage them in healthy activities that benefit them, both physically and mentally. If you too are looking for such options, gardening can be one of the most promising choices. It is an ideal activity that doesn’t require any major physical or mental stress and can be done any day, anytime, and every season.
If you are unaware of the mind-blowing benefits that gardening has to offer, this article is for you. How? Let’s have a look!
Gardening subjects older adults to a healthy workout and adequate daily activity. The American Society for Horticultural Science conducted a study that showed that gardening is effective in making older adults work reasonably and it increases their handiness and aerobic stamina. The individual gets plenty of exercise when preparing the soil, sowing the seeds or watering the plants. Other benefits included muscle toning and stretching along with reduced waist measurement.
Boosts Emotions & Mood
Gardening is a reported mood lifter for adults. Researchers from Princeton University listed some major activities that are a source of emotional boost and gardening was one of them. The sentiments it triggered were similar to those experienced by younger adults when walking, biking, or eating out. They found that people who practice gardening have their spirits lifted and feel greater joy and contentment.
Self-planting Improves Nutrition
If people grow vegetables and fruits in their garden, they are likely to consume the most nutritious and organic food possible. They'll be fresher and free of any synthetic processing. Also, it frees them from the burden of affording food which is a bit relaxing. One study revealed that people with economic insecurity during the pandemic managed their major food budget with what they grew in their gardens.
People who garden may have a lower level of immunosenescence. It is the age-related reduction in immune system efficiency. This has been reported in the latest study published in the Journal of Gerontology. The participants of the study also exhibited alleviated levels of inflammaging i.e. a type of low-grade inflammation that is frequently reported in elder individuals. It increases the risk of infection, cancer, and inflammatory illnesses, therefore gardening can protect you from such inadequacies as well.
More Time with Nature
Numerous studies have demonstrated the advantages of spending time with nature like in the fresh air and vegetation. Healthcare professionals often recommend older people go out for some walk in a park daily. It is to keep them active and acquire the healing essence of nature. However, going to the park or even sitting in the yard can seem like too much effort or too monotonous at times. People who have a garden, on the other hand, can spend more time outside with nature. They need not go somewhere out, the nature welcomes them at a few steps.
Enables Mindful Time
The health benefits of mindfulness are undeniable. Gardens, according to the University of Lincoln, can be a space where older folks can remember and let their minds wander. Gardening has been found in studies to affect your perspective of time. Many gardeners say that time seems to stand still when they're in the garden. They forget about their everyday duties when abandoning themselves on nature's clock. It helps them to take a free breath and focus their mind on the positive only.
A Sense of Persistence
Gardening for older people is an opportunity to put their imprint on an area. Many of them reported that they feel overjoyed while planning a garden and developing and caring for the plants. It gives them something they could look forward to and allows them to spend their time constructively.
Better Brain Health
Gardening can help elders with various health conditions especially related to the brain. It has been discovered that it lowers the chance of dementia by lowering the risk of brain-damaging health disorders like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression. Planning your garden, selecting plants, and determining the best time to harvest provide you with beneficial brain activity which enhances your mental well-being.
If you haven’t tried gardening yet, this might be the time to start with it and avail all the benefits mentioned above! You don't have to worry about the heavy lifting, your caregiver can help with that! The caregiver can also prepare nutritious and healthy meals with freshly harvested vegetables from the garden!
At Effraim Home Care, our caregivers are trained to provide you with the best of in-home care services including but not limited to household chores, meal preparation, and running errands. Contact us online or at (215) 826-7422 to see if our services are available in your area, and to find out the difference our in-home care services can make for a you or your senior loved one.