Any medical advice featured in this article needs to be treated as such. Please consult your GP for more accurate information.
As any aged care provider in Bayswater will tell you, gardening is a worthwhile activity for the elderly.
Not only is it fun and enjoyable, but it also relieves stress and anxiety, provides a low impact form of exercise and provides a sense of achievement and pride.
In short – what’s not to like?!
With this in mind, we thought we’d share with you some of our five benefits of gardening for the elderly.
Exercise and burning calories
Did you know that planting and pulling weeds can help burn 200 to 400 calories an hour?
Gardening can get the body moving by requiring some pulling, bending, squatting and stretching.
Gone are the days when pushing around a heavy wheelbarrow is necessary to keep your muscles from weakening.
Honestly, is there anything worse than lugging around a wheelbarrow on a hot summer’s day!?
A few hours of gardening during the week will give you the necessary workout that you need and help you develop a good level of satisfaction when finished.
The All-Important Vitamin D
While you never want to be exposed to the sun for too long, a few hours of exposure to some sun will give you more vitamin D than any glass of milk ever will.
Just remember to be sun smart at all times – wear a hat, a top to cover your arms, and some sunscreen to ensure you’re protected at all times.
Increasing hand-eye coordination, gardening also helps to keep the body and brain in sync.
It also lowers stress-producing cortisol levels and raises serotonin which is a calming chemical in the brain that puts you in a good mood.
Decreases risk of dementia
An activity such as gardening is a physical activity that requires a lot of critical thinking when it comes to what to plant and how to take care of it.
This will go a long way to reducing your chances of Alzheimers.
Now, if you don’t have the space for your own garden, don’t panic!
Community gardens are a great alternative to grow your own fruit, veggies, plants and herbs.
There are many places in all major cities around the world where the elderly can join a community garden where various volunteers work to care for the garden and share in what is produced.
One of the other great benefits of joining a community garden is socialising and meeting new people.
You could also take it a step further and oversee what resources are needed, what local funding is available and what events are happening in the area.
Gardening is an activity that can be done alone or with others where you can enjoy the activity together.
It’s also very rewarding to see all your hard work bloom and grow in the many weeks and months ahead.
The skills, knowledge, friendships and ideas you can gain from being in such an environment filled with “growth” have so many benefits to them.
Get in touch with your local aged care provider in Bayswater to discuss how you might be able to start gardening in your own home or in a community garden.