With a long weekend coming up, inspiration from the Chelsea Flower Show, and the sun due to shine, it would be a shame not to get out into the garden and enjoy the benefits of gardening for the elderly. Gardening helps enhance well-being, improve dexterity, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve relaxation and satisfaction; it also provides social entertainment for those who like to garden in groups, or with friends. And the best part is that you can enjoy family fun, good food, and a place to relax and take in the sunshine - all in the comfort of your own back garden. Throw in some fresh fruit and veggies grown by your own hands - it’s a winner all round!
Gardening helps keep elderly general health in a better state by strengthening bones, muscles and joints; it also helps the elderly with balance resulting in less falls; keeps blood pressure at bay; reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke; and of course helps keep our minds in a positive state. Being in the garden and caring for your plants involves your whole body, which for some people may be difficult so ask your carer to help you - this will be a fun exercise to do together to help you bond and enjoy the fruits of your labour together. If you have a condition like arthritis, or an injury, you can opt for a low maintenance garden and ask your carer to take over on some days.
You can enjoy activities such as:
Planting herbs in pots or raised beds
Tidying up plants which are in pots
Planting vegetables which are in season
Planting flowers which are in season
Decorating the garden with sensory accessories which can help with conditions like dementia
There are benefits in having flower gardens, or small vegetables gardens. If you opt to grow flowers, you can pick fresh flowers and have bright bouquets throughout the house or to give to friends and relatives - fresh flowers really do brighten up a room!
And if you decide to grow herbs and vegetables in your garden, you can enjoy hosting family BBQs with produce grown by you!
Make sure your gardening experience is pleasant by following a few simple rules:
Wear a hat and sunscreen to protect from harmful UV rays
Have a pair of gloves to protect fragile skin
Take regular breaks to enjoy a lemonade and spend some time in the shade
Have insect repellant handy to ward off mosquitos and any other unwanted insect friends
We would love to see photos of your garden this summer - email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post them on our Facebook page for everyone to get inspired!