Gardening has lots of benefits to assisted living San Antonio senior citizens not to forget other seniors from all over the world. These benefits are both healthy and therapeutic. Edible gardening, for instance, is most especially effective in providing these benefits. The garden equipment and the garden itself should be modified to improve interest, productivity and accessibility. Some seniors may have physical disabilities or medical conditions that may limit their ability to take part in gardening that is why the garden needs to be modified to meet their needs.
Importance of gardening for assisted living San Antonio seniors
Improved immune system
Working in the garden involves touching dirt as you will be digging and weeding. Dirt is usually involved with germs and disease causing microorganisms. However, there is a certain bacteria-called mycobacterium vaccae found in garden soil known to boost immunity. So, garden soil is not that bad.
It is a good exercise
All exercises whether vigorous or light can slow down the process of ageing. Gardening is one form of exercise but it is not as vigorous as cycling or swimming.
Keeps you happy
Working in the garden exposes you to fresh air which goes a long way in boosting your mood and improving your health. Sunshine makes the brain release more serotonin-a hormone that improves your mood and makes you feel happy. It also helps the skin to synthesise vitamin D, responsible for healthy bones. Gardening also helps lower incidences of depression as well as maintaining muscle strength.
Safety gardening tips for seniors
While gardening, seniors should consider safety tips so as to enjoy its full benefits. This is especially for those who have medical conditions such as arthritis. Some gardening safety tips include:
Placing garden benches
While gardening, it is important to rest from time to time. Placing several benches in different parts of the garden will ensure that you have a comfortable place to rest.
Using garden tools with long handles
This will allow you to complete your gardening tasks without having to bend or kneel.
Having raised flower beds
These can be most useful if you find it difficult to get down or up from the ground. You can have them built to a height you are comfortable with and at a place that is convenient for you.
Gardening can be strenuous at times so it is important to stretch your muscles before you head out to the garden. This will prevent injury to your muscles.
Painting the handles for garden equipment
Most seniors suffer from loss of vision and may find it difficult locating tools in the garden. Painting the tools’ handles with a bright colour will make them easy to find or distinguish.
In case you have not been exercising regularly for a while, it is advisable not to strain yourself when gardening. Health practitioners recommend changing your position every twenty to thirty minutes, and taking ten-minute rests in between. Gardening involves many activities such as pulling, bending and lifting that can leave you worn out all day long if you overstretch yourself.
Mind your health
The tetanus virus lives in soil and so you should you get vaccinated against it every once in a while before getting down to business. You should also drink a lot of water before going to the garden and even during gardening. This will help to keep you hydrated. Before you go to the garden, eat some food or a healthy snack to keep you energetic during the day. Seniors tend to lose body balance most of the time so they should avoid elevated areas, or climbing on places because it is easier for them to fall. Those with any form of disability should consult their doctors to find out if they are fit enough to go to the garden.
There are indoor and outdoor gardening activities for seniors.
You should place the cactus next to your sunniest window as it requires a lot of sunshine. You do not have to water it frequently because it needs very little water.
This is where you grow herbs and vegetables you can actually consume. Some herbs and vegetables that you can grow include: lavender, mint, chives and basil. It is the best type of indoor gardening. Place them next to a sunny window and water them occasionally.
In this type of gardening, one of the pants spills over the rim of a container in which they are planted.
This is the best idea if you want to do gardening with a theme. A pizza garden is one in which you grow the ingredients used to make pizza.
Outdoor gardening ideas
Humming bird garden
Humming birds like flowers with a red colour shade. They also like water that is in motion and so to attract them, plant flowers that produce red flowers in your garden. If there is river nearby, that would be the best place to plant them.
Songbirds produce more sounds than most birds. They are exciting to listen to and watch as well. To attract them in your garden, plant a variety of trees as well as food sources like vines.
These are just a few benefits that seniors can draw from gardening. There are many more. Seniors should engage in gardening to enjoy these benefits to the fullest.