It’s time to think about starting a garden. Gardening is a great and inexpensive way to put fresh vegetables on the table or brighten up the yard and room with colorful flowers. In addition, gardening has many health benefits for seniors, like those listed below.

Relieves Stress

Older adults sometimes suffer from stress caused by living on a reduced income after retirement, illness, and other major life changes. Gardening offers a break from the things that worry your aging relative. In fact, studies show that gardening may be better for stress relief than other kinds of leisure activities. In one study, participants were asked to complete a stressful task. Afterward, some of them participated in gardening for half an hour while others spent time reading inside. The group that gardened reported being in a better mood than those who read. They also had lower cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress.

Promotes Weight Loss

Gardening involves a lot of physical work. In fact, it is considered moderate intensity exercise. Spending one hour gardening burns 330 calories, so it can help seniors to burn calories in an enjoyable way that doesn’t feel like a workout. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health showed that people who participated in a community gardening program tended to have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than other people in their neighborhood did.

Improved Bone Health

Gardening is an outdoor activity, which means your older family member will be outside in the sun. Sunshine triggers the body to make vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for the body to be able to absorb calcium, a vital mineral for creating bone tissue. Just a note of caution, though. It’s still important for seniors to wear sunscreen outside to prevent sunburn and skin cancer.

Offers Social Connection

Gardening can be a way for older adults to connect with others. Most areas have community gardening plots. Gardening in a community plot allows seniors to spend time with others while they also gardening. They’ll likely have opportunities to talk and a hobby that provides a starting place for conversation. Being connected to others helps maintain a healthy self-esteem, better mood, and overall better health.

If your elderly loved one would like to start a garden this spring, senior care can help them. A senior care provider can help them to locate a community garden plot or monitor them while they garden at home. Senior care providers can also drive the older adult to the gardening center to purchase seeds, plants, and other supplies. In addition, a senior care provider can help by carrying heavy items out to the garden, such as full watering cans or shovels.

Sources
http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/07/08/why.gardening.good/index.html
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a22109/health-benefits-gardening/

If you are considering senior care in Cinco Ranch, TX, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.