Gardening is a very calming activity, and it has numerous therapeutic benefits, especially for the elderly people. In case the created garden is edible, the benefits are even more. There might be cases when an elder person cannot participate in gardening for various reasons: they might suffer from certain physical disabilities, or conditions. However, with certain modifications, anyone can participate in gardening.
Advantages of Gardening
One of the main advantages of gardening, besides the fact that it can fill your time, is the fact that it keeps you physically active. It can be a very enjoyable form of physical exercise, because it increases the flexibility and the mobility. Another advantage is the fact that all motor skills are required in gardening: one has to walk, bend, and reach, through numerous activities such as cutting or planting.
The strength will also be increased thanks to hardening. In the case of women, gardening, or the physical activity associated to it, can prevent osteoporosis, or other similar diseases. Gardening also results in relaxation, and in a reduced stress level. It could also lead to social interaction which might eliminate the feelings of loneliness. If the garden is edible, then it will bring a great and healthy nutrition.
There are certain conditions of which people should be aware when they consider gardening. In case the skin is fragile, people should be sure not to get sunburned, or develop bruises or bumps. People who have poor vision might have a difficult time engage in gardening, for obvious reasons. Memory abilities and thinking could be affected by conditions such as dementia, or other similar ones. People who easily suffer of dehydration should take extra care. Older people are more susceptible to exhaustion caused by heat.
Falls could also occur when an old person engages in gardening activities. People should be very careful when they garden, as they might encounter various obstacles in the garden. Tools can be modified in order to make them suitable for the older people. Vertical planting could be used in order to make the garden beds accessible for harvesting. The beds could be raised in order for people who have certain physical restrictions to be able to work in the proper manner. Older people should use lightweight tools, made out of plastic, or any other material, in order to take care of the problem.
In case of emergency
In case people get cuts or are bitten by insects, they should take care of the problem very soon. When they use power tools, they should take extra care, as they could cause lots of damage. If memory loss is an issue, the gates and the fences should be secured. The walkways and the paths should be non-slip. Before gardening, people should warm up, in order to make sure that they are fully prepared for the physical activities. They should also take frequent brakes, and to drink as much water or juice as possible. They should under no circumstances drink alcohol.