Gardening is a great hobby for anyone looking to enjoy the outdoors and get some light exercise, especially seniors. However, those with mobility issues may find it difficult to garden in the typical way. Does that mean gardening doesn’t have a place in senior care? Not at all! There are plenty of ways seniors can get in on this delightful warm weather activity.
This is a simple and easy solution for seniors that have trouble bending or kneeling. Placing box planters and gardening tools on a waist-high table makes it easier to stand and work. For those who cannot stand for a while or are wheelchair-bound, use tables that are appropriate height for sitting without having to stretch too far. Another option is to find a table with adjustable legs to meet their needs on any given day.
As the weather gets hotter, it may be more health conscious to move gardening activities into shaded areas or inside altogether. To make this easier, try using tables and bins with wheels so you can move plants and tools with ease. Be sure to use objects that have lockable wheels or other mechanisms to keep them in place while in use. When you’re done gardening, you can then easily roll plants back outside into their preferred areas for sunlight.
Making Easier Tools
Some gardening tools may be difficult to use for seniors with movement problems such as arthritis. Luckily, many tools can be adapted for use by those with disabilities. Tape, PVC pipe, and foam padding can help improve the grip and length of tool handles. Gloves with rubber grips can also help seniors get a better handle on things. If you’re not handy, there are many ergonomic and lightweight tools available at hardware stores designed just for these purposes too.
What To Do In Your Garden
Gardening is way more than just planting seeds. It can be a great mental and sensory activity too. Many people find the act of regularly watering and pruning their plants to be relaxing. It can increase feelings of well-being, decreasing levels of anxiety and depression.
The act of touching, smelling, and seeing the bright colors of flowers can also be a great memory stimulant. Taking care of plants together with a caregiver also enhances relationships and can help seniors feel more socially connected. It’s also a wonderful activity to do with children to help them connect with their elders.
If you’re concerned about gardening being an appropriate activity for a senior, it’s important to consult with a professional. Discuss adding gardening to your senior homecare routine with the family doctor or other medical professionals involved in their homecare. Occupational therapists or other homecare professionals can also provide tips and advice to suit your senior’s individual needs. Also consider contacting your local community gardening groups to see if they have any tips or programs for seniors or those with disabilities!