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Senior Health: Benefits of Gardening

By Rick Cohen, 9:00 am on

In 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture designated April as National Garden Month to celebrate the role that gardens play in community life. For seniors, there’s no better time than spring to cultivate a green thumb. Whether tending a plot of vegetables in the backyard or growing flowers in a sunny window box, gardening provides an array of health benefits for older adults.

1. Enjoyable Exercise

According to Milwaukee elder care professionals, gardening tasks like digging, planting, and watering helps seniors meet their daily quota of physical activity in a way that never feels boring or repetitive. It’s an enjoyable form of exercise that helps keep seniors fit and also safeguards them from diseases like osteoporosis, heart disease, and diabetes.

2. Improved Mobility

Whether pulling weeds or potting flowers, gardening uses a broad range of motor skills, offering opportunities every day to increase strength, build up endurance and improve flexibility and balance. It’s a great way to maintain the physical fitness, which ultimately helps seniors maintain independence.

3. Better Nutrition

Including edible plants like vegetable, fruits and herbs offer opportunities to improve health with nutrient-rich food fresh from the vine. The delicious taste of freshly picked produce is impossible to describe until experienced firsthand.

4. Intellectual Stimulation

From discovering which types of tomatoes thrive to learning how to trim roses, there’s always something new about gardening to engage a senior’s interest. The mental stimulation that gardening provides can also help ward off diseases like Alzheimer’s down the road.

5. Emotionally Satisfying

Few of life’s simple pleasures are as satisfying as watching the flowers and produce planted by hand grow and flourish. The knowledge that all this bounty is due to personal efforts makes gardening all the more rewarding. Gardening is an affirmation of life that lifts the spirits and soothes the senses.

Learn more about promoting elderly health and wellness from the experienced and friendly staff at Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated Milwaukee caregivers cook nutritious meals, offer mobility support, encourage physical activity, and provide mental stimulation to help seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle in the comfort of home. Schedule a free in-home consultation by calling (414) 964-8000 today!

5 Ways Gardening Boosts Senior Wellness