The Health Benefits of Gardening for Seniors

senior lady gardening outside

Gardening for seniors has many health benefits.

The cool dampness of rich soil. The heat of the sun’s rays. The happy music of songbirds. Gardening has the capacity to engage so many of our senses, and provides an abundance of positive benefits to older adults. No matter what the ability level or any space restrictions, there is always a way to help senior loved ones experience the joys of planting indoors or outdoors, watching new growth appear, and harvesting. Spark interest (or renew interest) in the world of gardening for seniors you love, and discover:

  • A brighter outlook on life. Studies have discovered that when compared with other hobbies, gardening is typically the winner in fighting stress levels and improving mood. Participants in the study worked on a stress-inducing task, and were then asked to either spend thirty minutes gardening outside or reading inside. Blood tests clearly revealed a lower quantity of cortisol – a stress hormone – within the gardening test group.
  • Enhanced flexibility, strength, and stamina. Gardening can actually provide a cardio workout in some cases, but even sitting in place while undertaking gardening tasks will help strengthen and build muscles. The basic acts of bending, reaching, twisting, and pulling can also increase stamina and flexibility.
  • Lower dementia risk. An interesting and comprehensive study of approximately 3,000 participants has revealed that dementia risk is reduced up to 36 percent in adults aged 60 and over who took part in gardening and similar physical activities.
  • The chance to make friends. Community gardens bring neighbors together for a common purpose, providing opportunities to establish friendships. The American Community Gardening Association offers its members a chance to find a community garden in their area – or, start a new one.

An indoor garden is fantastic for seniors who can’t get outside or for when the weather is not cooperating. Decorate small clay pots with paint or markers, and fill with potting soil and an assortment of herb seeds. Or create a terrarium with a glass bowl, small shells/stones/etc., potting soil and a few small succulents.

Need some other indoor ideas for gardening for seniors? Find 10 simple ideas here, and get in touch with CareWorks Health Services for a caregiver to help! Our compassionate care team is always available to help older adults live life to the fullest through interesting activities such as gardening, along with:

  • Reminiscing and conversations
  • Mind-stimulating puzzles and games
  • Engaging outings
  • Favorite (or new) hobbies: crocheting, knitting, learning a language or musical instrument – the sky is the limit!

As the premier providers of Mission Viejo senior services, we’re fully equipped to meet a variety of elder care needs. Reach out to us online or give us a call at (949) 859-4700 any time for a no-cost in-home consultation to get started on a more enriching life for a senior you love. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.