Gardening is a perfect hobby for almost anyone – but especially for senior living. Why? It gets one out and about, without demanding too much physically. It is ideal for an individual whose body is, perhaps, a bit worn down than in its youth. But, everyone still needs and wants sunshine and fresh air. There are several benefits to gardening for seniors:
- It encourages the use of a great variety of motor skills, which can be an excellent means of averting more severe forms of arthritis and joint pain.
- Community Gardens can be a great source of social interaction, which far too many people, sadly, tend to neglect in their later years.
- A variety of healthy, natural foods can quickly be grown in gardens. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great asset to promote health, and thus happier living in later years (as well as save on a pension-based budget).
- Gardening keeps the mind sharp. Proper gardening requires careful thought and planning, after all. This last note is an especially crucial one for seniors; studies have shown daily gardening can lower the risk of dementia by up to 36%.
We could go on, of course; but the point is that developing a gardening hobby in one’s senior years can be a great asset. And this is something that can be done regardless of one’s living conditions.
Having a garden can be a great hobby, but for many older individuals, maintaining a one might be more work than they can handle. In those cases, a community garden, shared by several fellow gardening enthusiasts, can often be the ideal option, because work is shared. Alternatively, if one has limited space, indoor potted plants can make for an easily accessible and manageable option.
If one does opt for a full garden, many solutions can help lighten the more severe aspects of gardening work. For some kneeling or bending can give rise to back pain. Raised planting beds can be accessed without bending. Climbing plants (sweet peas, wisterias, some roses, etc.) can be easier to spray and harvest when they’re grown on a tall trellis. Long-handled tools can also increase reach and access, and placing stools or benches around the garden can do a lot to help avoid fatigue.
When kneeling does become necessary, wearing knee pads, or constructing set cushioned kneeling spots, can save on pain in the joints.
Gardening is a hobby that can bring light and fun to the senior years, especially in the sunny summer months. And there’s no better time to start planning for it than right away.
A community garden is one of the great features at The Tapestry, an age-targeted community in Garner, NC. For more information call 919-772-4663.