7 Benefits of Gardening for Seniors
Retirement is a ripe time to cultivate a new hobby or revive an old one. Gardening for seniors offers an enchanting activity that’s full of surprises, challenges and year-round change, which makes it the perfect selection for older adults of all skill levels.
Whether you’re thinking about joining a garden club or want to start out small with a container full of flowers, here are 7 reasons to nurture your green thumb.
- 1. Lower your stress levels
Increased stress levels over time can cause depression, heart problems and cognitive decline. Just 30 minutes a day in the garden can increase your production of dopamine and serotonin, which are hormones that improve your mood and promote happiness.
Working in the garden also lowers your cortisol levels, which can ease stress, reduce high blood pressure and improve your mental clarity.
- 2. Decrease your risk of dementia
A surprising benefit of gardening for seniors is a reduced risk of dementia. That’s because gardening requires a lot of creative planning to thrive. Knowing when it’s time to plant, how much water your garden needs, and when to harvest your produce requires you to recall skills you’ve perfected over the years.
Gardening also helps older adults who have already been diagnosed with dementia, because it stimulates multiple senses at once and helps seniors connect to their environment.
- 3. Get moderate exercise
Tending to a garden means kneeling, standing, lifting, and pulling weeds. These movements get your heart pumping without putting too much pressure on your joints and bones. Some studies even show that gardening can cut your risk of cardiovascular disease by nearly 30%.
Pruning, using scissors, and other small hand movements are also an excellent way to maintain hand strength and dexterity. The gentle nature of gardening engages your joints and is perfect for conditions that affect small muscles in your hands and body. This can be especially beneficial to seniors with arthritis.
- 4. Find social connections
A big benefit of gardening for seniors is the chance to make social connections. A vivid community garden full of flowers and vegetables can draw residents in a senior living community together, and inspire them to create bigger, more beautiful gardens together.
This is especially important for older adults who struggle with social isolation. The abundance of services and amenities, sometimes including community gardens, in senior living communities allow older adults to continue the healthy hobbies they love, while also making lasting friendships.
Get in touch with a senior living representative to discover more about how you can bloom at Freedom Village at Brandywine!
- 5. Connect with nature
If you feel like many older adults, sitting in the yard or taking a walk isn’t enough time outdoors. Gardening gives you the opportunity to connect with nature, reflect on your thoughts and take a calming breath of fresh air.
These moments of mindfulness create new ideas to grow your own happiness, recall joyful memories from your past and help you acquire a more positive outlook on life.
- 6. Create purpose
Gardening for seniors provides a sense of purpose and self-confidence you just can’t find anywhere else. Plants won’t grow without a little wisdom, and the success of a garden rests entirely on your constant care.
When you can share the surplus with your community, arrange a beautiful bouquet for friends, or create a fresh salad with homegrown produce, you’ll have an enjoyable way to spend your time and reap the rewards of your hard work.
- 7. Engage your senses
Seniors who garden can avoid many store-bought foods, including produce treated with pesticides, and have the motivation to keep a healthy diet. Not to mention, there’s nothing like the taste of a summer tomato you grew yourself!
You can’t forget the benefits of gardens full of flowers, either. Looking at flowers has an immediate impact on your happiness and a long-term effect on your mood, which means there’s no better excuse to stop and smell the roses.
Plant Roots and Live in Full Bloom at Freedom Village at Brandywine
Whether you like to spend time in the garden, work in the woodshop or read your favorite novels in the library, there’s something for you at our senior living community in Coatesville, PA.
To find out how you can continue your hobbies – or discover new ones – at Freedom Village at Brandywine, contact our senior living representatives online or call us at 484-320-3250, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions or schedule a tour.