5 Ways Gardening Is Physically & Mentally Beneficial for Aging Adults

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Maintaining a garden, whether it’s a few window boxes full of flowers or a plot of delicious vegetables, can have a surprisingly wide range of health benefits for seniors. Here are the top five.

1. Physical Fitness

Exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, keeps the joints limber, and keeps muscles strong. For seniors who shy away from the gym or have limited mobility, gardening is a great way to stay physically fit. Gardening for just 30 minutes a day has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke and prolong life by up to 30 percent. 

Home caregivers can help seniors prepare nutritious meals with the vegetables and herbs they grow in their gardens. Amarillo respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

2. Elevated Mood

Depression isn’t uncommon in the elderly, but it isn’t a normal part of aging. Gardening has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression in clinically depressed individuals. It elevates mood, boosts self-esteem, and produces a feeling of wellbeing and satisfaction. 

Engaging in fun outdoor activities like gardening is a great way for seniors to stay mentally active and enhance their quality of life. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

3. Vitamin D Absorption

Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system, healthy bones, and a healthy cardiovascular system. Vitamin D is created when the sun shines on exposed skin. Many seniors stay indoors and therefore never have any opportunities to create vitamin D. Gardening for just 10 minutes a day can produce sufficient vitamin D to dramatically boost health. 

4. Increased Hand Dexterity & Strength

Many seniors have a reduced ability to use their hands due to loss of flexibility and strength. Gardening is an activity that encourages seniors to put their hands through a complete workout, limbering up the joints, increasing range of motion, and strengthening muscles. Gardening is so good for the hands that some researchers have been exploring the use of gardening as a rehabilitative therapy for stroke survivors.

5. Stress Relief

Chronic stress and anxiety are harmful for both physical and mental health. A study found that gardening is an effective way to relieve stress. In the study, participants were subjected to stressful events and then either assigned to work in their gardens or read indoors. The active gardeners recovered more rapidly from the stress (as measured by cortisol levels) and experienced better mood relative to the readers.

If your loved one needs help with gardening tasks or other beneficial activities, consider hiring a home caregiver. In Amarillo, at-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (806) 803-9991 today.