Green Thumb or Black Thumb? Here’s Why Seniors Should Try Gardening.
Few things do more to clear the mind than getting fresh air and connecting with the environment. Gardening is one of the most popular activities that seniors in skilled home health care in Chesterfield participate in – and for good reason. It’s beneficial to spend time in nature and rewarding to plant a garden and watch it grow. Here are a few reasons why seniors should give gardening a try, as well as some tips for getting started.
Health Benefits of Gardening
There’s no denying it – gardening is calming! Studies have found that gardening helps relieve stress by lowering cortisol levels in the body. It also raises the levels of serotonin in our body – those feel-good chemicals that keep us in a good mood and feeling calm.
Spending time in your garden can also give your health a boost and help stave off dementia. From pulling weeds to planting seeds, you’ll get your heart pumping while improving hand-eye coordination and sensory awareness.
If you lack a green thumb, start small. Potted herbs are one of the simplest ways to get started with gardening. Try keeping a few key plants, like basil and oregano, so you can add fresh herbs to your favorite dishes. Once you feel confident in your prowess as a gardener, gradually work your way up to easier vegetables like tomatoes and bell peppers.
Making Gardening More Comfortable
Traditional gardening can involve a lot of bending and kneeling, which can be uncomfortable for those with sore backs or knees. Luckily, there are several ways for those requiring skilled home health care in Macomb to accommodate physical limitations and continue gardening throughout the years:
- Use Seating: When you need to take a break, make sure you always have a place to rest. Add comfortable seating in a shaded area that’s nearby so you can take a few moments to recharge without going back inside.
- Try Raised Beds: Reduce the need to bend and kneel by building a raised garden bed. These are great options for seniors who need to use a wheelchair, since you can customize your bed to be as high as necessary. You’ll also benefit from improved drainage, which will keep your plants healthy and lessen the risk of root rot.
- Consider Vertical Gardens: Plants are limited to growing in the ground! Vertical gardens are a popular option for those unable to bend at the waist, or otherwise lacking outdoor space for a garden. Trellises, tomato cages, fences, and arbors will all allow you to stand up straight while taking care of tasks like watering and pruning. Cucumbers, squash, beans, and many other vegetables are perfectly suited for this type of gardening.