Gertrude Jekyll, horticulturalist extraordinaire and creator of over 400 gardens throughout her lifetime once said, “The lesson I have thoroughly learned, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives.” Doris Day once noted, “…I find beauty in my garden.” There is no doubt about it, gardening is simply good for the soul. This is something that has been anecdotally known for quite some time but now research is finding just how significant it is, especially for the elderly population. A longitudinal study out of Australia followed over 2000 men and women, none of which exhibited any impaired cognitive ability, for 16 years beginning in the 1980s. When the study was completed, researchers found that gardening, amongst other things, plays a vital role in potentially decreasing dementia as people age. By spending time in a garden, all of us, especially seniors, can improve our mental health and reap the benefits of daily activity.
Gardening can have an incredible impact on many areas of health. Gardening can provide better immunity thanks to a daily dose of Vitamin D, mood enhancement, great physical exercise, and even socialization. It is a tremendous tool for seniors. If you are an avid gardener of a certain age or a caregiver to someone who is, here are some tips and tools to keep the creative gardening juices alive and the gardener in your life healthy and happy.
If you currently have a garden or are thinking about creating one of your own, you will want to give careful consideration to the landscaping and create spaces for your needs. This may mean putting in vegetation that will create shade, a must for gardens in Melbourne, FL. It could mean finding a lovely bench or stool that will allow for a quick rest. When designing walking paths, make sure they are wide enough to accommodate you and your movement needs. Use materials that create stability and keep an eye out for roots and broken parts as you progress with your design. Because squatting can be tough on the joints, perhaps utilizing climbing plants and large planters could work best. Create a landscape that is functional for this stage in life that gives you purpose and joy.
It is important to take care of yourself or the senior in your life when outside tending to plants. Be sure that work is done in the cooler parts of the day. Residents of Brevard need to be especially careful due to the warm temperatures and high humidity. Wear appropriate clothing, use sun protection, and make sure your shoes provide stability. Never garden without drinking water nearby to protect yourself from overheating. Body mechanics are also very important in order to prevent injury. Never pick up heavy objects without bending your knees. This will help protect you from a back strain.
Gardening can be so valuable to seniors and here at Champion Home Health Care, we want to see our beloved community thrive. If you have questions about home health care in Melbourne or the surrounding areas, please contact us today. We would love to discuss the options available and help you make the right choice for yourself or someone you love.