Gardening is an excellent hobby for seniors that has many benefits. It is a physical activity, so it gets them moving, offering both aerobic and strengthening exercise. It also produces beautiful flowers that can boost moods or delicious fruits and vegetables that provide nutrients. But, if you’ve ever grown a garden yourself, you know that gardening can be hard work. You might wonder if your aging relative is capable of such a strenuous task. However, there are lots of ways gardening can be made easier for older adults. Below are some tips to do just that.
Choose Plants That Grow Vertically.
For older adults who have difficulty bending and kneeling, choose plants that can climb trellises as they grow. This eliminates some of the need to get low. Caregivers may have to help with the initial planting, but the older adult can take over the care after that. Produce will be easier to pick, and the senior can also watch for signs of bugs without having to bend down.
Grow Hardy Plants.
Some plants are just easier to grow than others. Selecting plants that grow well in a variety of conditions can take some of the frustration out of gardening. Watching plants flourish is much more satisfying. Caregivers may have to assist the senior to research plants that grow well in their area.
Add a Bench.
Older adults may need to take a break while gardening. Adding a bench or other seating near the garden gives them a place to comfortably rest without having to walk all the way back to the house. Caregivers should place the bench in a shady spot, if possible, so the senior can cool off and avoid sunburn.
Squat, Prune, and Bend Right.
There are proper ways to move while gardening that will protect the senior’s body from injury. For example, when they squat down to weed or pick, their heels should remain in contact with the ground so that they don’t injure ligaments. Or, they should kneel on just one knee. The senior’s doctor may be able to refer them to an occupational therapist who can suggest ways to make gardening safer.
Make a Container Garden.
Preparing the garden bed can be the hardest step. Growing plants in containers eliminates the need to till the ground. It also reduces or eliminates weeding. Plants grown in containers are also higher up, and can even be placed on tables, making them more accessible to seniors with mobility issues. A caregiver can help to place the containers in areas where plants will grow well and still be easy to get to.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Spokane, WA, please contact the friendly staff at Love at Home Senior Care, today. Call (509) 204-4088
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