Carolina SeniorCare is preparing for spring gardening.
While some people might assume the only benefits of gardening come in the form of tomatoes and peppers, experts say it may actually help seniors enjoy independence later in life. The constant activity that comes along with gardening can also help prevent injury.
What comes to mind first when we think of physical benefits of gardening? Fresh air? Reduced stress? Increased mobility? Those things are true, but you might be surprised by some of its other benefits. Horticulture therapy has been linked to increased bone density because of increased vitamin D absorption (due to time spent in the sun outdoors), improved sleep cycles, improvement in attention, reduction of chronic pain, and reduction of falls. That last one is particularly important given the number of falls in the over-65 population.
As for psychological benefits, gardening and horticulture therapy have been linked to alleviating depression, decreasing anxiety, increasing a person’s sense of stability, and increasing sense of control. Dementia patients, in particular, showed decreased aggression with access to gardening.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of gardening health benefits:
The more senses engaged, the better. Colorful blooms, different scents, and a variety of textures create a good sensory experience that can help jog memories and reduce agitation.
Use raised flower beds to avoid bending beyond the level of stability.
Plant some herbs you can dry and use for cooking, crafts, or design projects.
Article Credits: Interim Healthcare at interimhealthcare.com and Griswold Homecare at griswoldhomecare.com