How Gardening Gives Seniors a More Active, Engaging Lifestyle

Last updated: Jun 2022

Discover How Gardening Can Improve Your Life

Growing plants and gardening is an enjoyable and rewarding activity for older adults. The benefits of gardening for seniors are numerous, and in addition to entertaining, it is also beneficial for improving their health.

Gardening never gets old, but sometimes the people who enjoy it the most find it challenging to do. While many seniors give up this pastime, there are ways to continue gardening regardless of mobility or strength.

Gardening can also act as occupational therapy. Pruning, planting, weeding, and watering are physically stimulating and can help to encourage the use of motor skills. And don’t underestimate the psychological well-being gardening offers. Seniors benefit emotionally from having the opportunity to care for something at a time when someone else is caring for them. And the act of gardening reduces stress levels and promotes relaxation.

Gardening for the Health of older people

1. Stress Relief

Gardening is known to relieve stress, which is a common symptom that seniors face - especially those in retirement homes. Research has shown that engaging in activities like gardening can lower blood pressure, improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation throughout the body. 

Furthermore, being surrounded by greenery can improve one’s psychological state and create a sense of calmness which is great for mental health as well.
  • Working productively in the garden can increase serotonin levels in the brain, causing you to be happier throughout the day. Gardening can also improve your overall mood. Give it a go, and I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
  •  Gardening can bring out your creativity and spark innovative thinking. Gardening also contributes to sustainability.

2. Opportunity To Connect With Nature

As we age, staying connected with nature become increasingly important as it helps reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, while promoting overall wellness. 
  • Gardening allows seniors to keep up with their general garden maintenance tasks such as trimming or planting while also providing them with an opportunity to observe wildlife or simply appreciate their surroundings. 
  • Usually, gardening is in the fresh air, and it can help your mood. as said before, working under the sunlight also gives us more vitamin D, which affects our mood. Exercise releases endorphins in your brain. Endorphins are chemicals produced by the body to relieve stress and pain.

3. Exercise And Balance Maintenance

Seniors often have difficulty generating new ideas for exercise and are prone to balance problems due to physical weakness or other medical conditions. Gardening offers an effective way to increase balance strength in a safe environment. 
  • Some light gardening activities such as bending over, reaching up, squatting down for pruning tasks, or even wheelbarrowing will help joints move better without too much strain on the body - resulting in improved balance and coordination movements.
  • Physical exercise while gardening is another beneficial factor of gardening. Gardening can be considered a great sport and a daily exercise. While gardening can be largely enjoyable, it is also a great way to exercise. Many individuals don’t reach the minimum daily guidelines for daily exercise.
  • Lack of exercise can lead to a range of health issues. Gardening is a great way to meet your body’s need for exercise. The guidelines for physical activity in children and adolescents are for 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous exercise every day. Adults should get at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise a day.

benefits of Gardening

4. Social Connections

Gardening offers many opportunities for social interaction between individuals involved in its practice – allowing seniors who may be particularly isolated due to various socioeconomic factors (such as living by themselves) to bridge generational gaps and develop friendships with people from different age groups too! 
  • This type of engagement helps keep the mind engaged and can even stave off signs of memory decline. 
  • Alternatively, you might attend community garden screenings offered near your area either at retirement homes or city parks where you can interact with fellow gardeners who share similar interests like yours!

5. Cognitive Stimulation

Growing plants indoors or outdoors gives seniors continuous cognitive stimulation thanks to all the decisions they must make about soil types, fertilizer amounts, and watering frequency needed for healthy growth of their plants/vegetables/fruit trees, etc – it keeps them thinking constantly!

  • Subsequently, this increases attentiveness levels while enhancing their overall well-being because they’re actively engaged in a project requiring multiple decision-making processes taking place simultaneously; 

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