5 Ways Gardening Can Boost Your Aging Loved One’s Health

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For many seniors, there’s no better pastime than cultivating a green thumb. Whether your older loved one is tending a plot of vegetables in the backyard or growing flowers in a sunny window box, gardening can provide an array of health benefits.

1. Enjoyable Exercise

Seniors with circulation issues have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, but engaging in physical exercise can increase blood and oxygen flow and decrease the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Planting in the garden, lifting the tools, and watering the soil and plants can provide the regular exercise seniors need. Gardening tasks help seniors meet their daily quota of physical activity in a way that never feels boring or repetitive. It’s an enjoyable form of exercise that keeps seniors fit and prevents diseases like osteoporosis and diabetes.

2. Increased Mobility

Whether it involves pulling weeds or potting flowers, gardening uses a broad range of motor skills, offering opportunities every day to increase strength, build up endurance, and boost flexibility and balance. It’s a great way to maintain physical fitness and coordination, which ultimately helps seniors maintain independence.

3. Better Nutrition

Growing edible plants like vegetables, fruits, and herbs offers opportunities for your loved one to boost his or her overall health with nutrient-rich food fresh from the garden. The delicious taste of freshly picked produce is impossible to describe unless it’s experienced firsthand.

Home caregivers can help seniors prepare nutritious meals with the vegetables and herbs they grow in their gardens. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Green Valley, AZ, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

4. Intellectual Stimulation

From discovering which types of tomatoes thrive to learning how to trim roses, there’s always something new about gardening to engage a senior’s interest, which is one reason this activity boosts cognitive health. When working in the garden, your loved one will need to use critical thinking skills and short-term memory. The mental stimulation a senior gets from even a short amount of time spent working in the garden can keep the brain active and enhance memory, staving off conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Engaging in fun outdoor activities like gardening is a great way for seniors to stay mentally active and enhance their quality of life. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

5. Emotional Satisfaction & Socialization

Few of life’s simple pleasures are as satisfying as watching the flowers and produce you’ve planted by hand grow and flourish. The knowledge that all this bounty is due to your own personal efforts makes gardening all the more rewarding. Gardening is an affirmation of life that lifts the spirits and soothes the senses. 

Gardening is also an activity seniors can enjoy with their children and grandchildren. Having someone to work with in the garden provides social interaction that enhances mood and prevents boredom. Socialization is a good way to stave off health issues such as memory loss, heart disease, depression, and obesity. The better your loved one feels emotionally, the better his or her overall health will be.

If your loved one needs help with gardening tasks or other beneficial physical activities, consider hiring a home caregiver. In Green Valley, elderly home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 520-625-2050.