Gardening is a popular hobby among the ageing population. This is likely because it is a relatively low-impact activity that can be performed right outside the home. Whether or not your elderly loved one realises it, making the choice to maintain a garden can lead to a variety of physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. North Coast caregivers want to share a few of these possibilities with you.
Gardening involves using the entire body and can burn calories, increase endurance, and help your loved one maintain a healthy weight. Many tasks related to gardening help strengthen certain muscles, including:
- Leg muscles – Digging, hoeing and raking keeps the thigh, calf, and foot muscles in good physical condition
- Biceps – Lifting tools, potted plants, and bags of compost keeps the arms in shape
- Hand and wrist muscles – Using a hand shovel and pulling weeds keeps these muscles flexible and strong
Your loved one can remain mentally sharp while gardening because there are a variety of tasks to stay focused on, such as what to plant, the proper spacing of each plant, and which fertiliser to use. From early spring until late fall, gardening requires creative thinking, decision making, and continued learning, all activities that keep the mind active and alert.
After retiring, many seniors become bored and feel their lives lack purpose, but growing a flower or vegetable garden can be emotionally satisfying and rewarding. Seniors often feel a sense of accomplishment when performing this task, which helps ward off depression and loneliness. Your loved one may also feel great satisfaction when he or she saves money and eats healthy food straight from the vegetable garden.
Gardening can fill a void for many seniors and even become a regular hobby. During the peak gardening seasons, there is plenty to keep your loved one engaged. In the winter, he or she can stay occupied by reading gardening books and seed catalogs, preparing for next spring, and growing an indoor herb garden. If your loved one needs help with gardening tasks throughout the year, consider hiring a North Coast hourly caregiver.
There are many other activities that can provide similar benefits for your loved one. To learn about other strategies for boosting senior health, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are expertly trained to help ageing adults accomplish a wide variety of important tasks. For more information on elder care North Coast families trust, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (02) 6646 3527 to schedule a free in-home consultation.