Gardening has long been known as a therapeutic hobby enjoyed by people of all ages. It provides an array of mental health benefits for seniors in particular. This blog post from Senior Helpers San Bernardino explores the various ways gardening enhances the well-being of seniors and those who love them.
Whether you are an experienced green thumb or considering picking up a trowel for the first time, you might be surprised at what getting your hands dirty can do.
1. Improved Mood
Watching plants grow and bloom can have a positive impact on seniors' moods. Researchers have found that being in nature, even just looking at plants, increases feelings of happiness and contentment. Gardening allows seniors to be surrounded by beautiful greenery and also actively participate in the process of nurturing life. This connection to nature can also help seniors feel more relaxed and cheerful. To start, seniors can choose a few colorful and easy-to-grow flowers, like marigolds, zinnias, or pansies, to brighten up their outdoor space.
2. Reduced Stress
Gardening also contributes to reducing stress levels. The combination of physical activity, fresh air, and the repetitive tasks involved in gardening can have a calming effect on the mind of seniors. In fact, studies have shown that gardening can lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Seniors can consider planting some lavender, chamomile, or jasmine to create a relaxing atmosphere in their garden. These particular plants also have soothing scents and contain proven stress-reducing properties.
3. Increased Cognitive Function
Engaging in regular gardening activities helps keep seniors' minds sharp as they age. Gardening requires planning, problem-solving, and remembering when to water, fertilize, and prune the plants. These cognitive challenges aid seniors in maintaining their mental abilities and potentially can delay cognitive decline. To add a brain-boosting element to their gardening routine, seniors can try planting a variety of plants with different care needs or experimenting with new growing techniques like vertical gardening or container gardening.
4. Promotes Social Interaction
Gardening also provides opportunities for social interaction, which is essential for seniors' mental health. Whether they join a local gardening club or attend workshops at a nearby nursery, seniors will meet like-minded individuals who share their passion for plants. These connections provide emotional support and foster a sense of belonging. They also give seniors the chance to share tips, tricks, and stories about their gardening adventures. If they are not sure where to start, seniors can look for community gardens or online forums dedicated to gardening enthusiasts in their area.
5. Sense of Accomplishment
There is a great sense of accomplishment to be had in nurturing a plant from seed to full-grown beauty. In fact, this can be an incredibly rewarding experience for seniors. As they watch their garden flourish, seniors will feel proud of the effort and dedication they have put into it. These small achievements contribute to a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment over time. To set realistic and achievable gardening goals, seniors can start with a small plot or a few containers and gradually expand as they gain confidence and experience.
Senior Helpers Wants Seniors to Thrive
Senior Helpers is one of the most trusted names in quality, in-home senior care in the San Bernardino area. If you live in Loma Linda, Redlands, Grand Terrace, San Bernardino, Colton, Yucaipa, or Rialto and are looking for more support in your senior years, don't hesitate to reach out to Senior Helpers San Bernardino. Our team can help in enhancing seniors' overall well-being and helping them thrive in their golden years.