The senior years are the perfect time to take up new hobbies, and gardening is one activity every older adult can learn. Whether they choose to keep a few small containers of flowers or go all out by planting a vegetable garden in the backyard, seniors can enjoy several benefits from spending time in nature. Here are a few reasons to encourage a senior to take up gardening.
Eat a Healthier Diet
Seniors are encouraged to eat a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables each day to give them the nutrition they need to maintain their energy and immunity. However, some older adults find it difficult to stick to a healthy eating plan. Growing their own produce helps seniors stay motivated for eating better, and they can even plant herbs to use as seasonings in their food in place of salt.
Some seniors need help preparing nutrient-dense meals. In Colorado Springs, elder care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Keep Joints Flexible
As people age, the cartilage in their joints begins to break down, and joint stiffness and pain tends to cause seniors to skip their regular exercise. Gardening is a low-impact form of exercise that seniors can modify to fit their abilities. For instance, seniors can choose to cultivate raised bed gardens if they find it too painful to kneel. Walking from one plant to another stretches the joints, which helps seniors maintain their flexibility and manage pain.
Continue to Learn New Things
Learning new things builds neural connections that boost cognitive health in the senior years. As they add new plants to their garden, seniors learn new techniques and information that strengthen their memory and reasoning skills. Every new lesson a senior learns provides a chance to continue to retain the ability to think clearly.
Cultivate New Friendships
Meeting new people in the senior years can be challenging, and older adults who engage in hobbies such as gardening always have something new to talk about. Seniors can even join gardening clubs in their communities, or they may find they now have something in common with a neighbor or family member. Trading gardening tips is a pastime that also gives seniors a sense of purpose since they have knowledge they can contribute to their fellow gardeners’ repertoire.
Regular socialization can also boost your senior loved one’s self-esteem. For families living in Colorado Springs, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
Soak Up the Sun
Plants and humans both need sunshine to thrive, and seniors can use their garden as the perfect excuse to get outside. While older adults should still use hats and sunscreen to reduce their exposure to UV rays, getting in at least 15 minutes of time in the sun each day boosts vitamin D levels. Additionally, seniors who spend time in natural environments are more likely to enjoy a state of relaxation that promotes a better mood throughout the day.
If your loved one needs help with gardening or other physical activities, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Colorado Springs in-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (719) 822-1229 today.