Staying active through retirement, whether it is through independent activities or recreational programs, is more critical than ever. Many retirees are discovering the gardening benefits for seniors, and it is becoming a more popular activity. At Buckner Retirement Services, we encourage seniors to explore all hobbies that keep them active and healthy. To learn more about our programs, give us a call today at 855.931.5688.
Mental health benefits of gardening for seniors
The mental health benefits of growing plants or keeping a garden have been well-documented. The joy of seeing your hard work come to life is not something that can be easily replaced. There is also the joy that comes from watching the process of plants growing and thriving over weeks and months.
Gardening is a skill, and while anyone can do it, proficient gardeners can learn to grow impressive lots that are not easy to achieve. Learning a new skill like gardening in retirement can do wonders for senior mental health.
One of the main challenges facing seniors is memory loss and a decline in cognitive function during the later years of life. The best way to slow down the progression of cognitive decline is to keep an active mind and engage in mentally-stimulating activities.
While gardening may not sound like a challenging brain activity, even small gardens require critical thinking. Thinking about where to place plants for optimal growth and sunlight, planning ahead to water them on a schedule, and knowing when to harvest requires critical thinking.
Gardening is a great activity to help seniors stay active. It requires movement and walking, so it can be very beneficial for maintaining muscle mass and flexibility.
Seniors with limited mobility can still benefit from moving around and spending time outdoors by trying a potted or tabletop garden. Incorporating physical activity into a hobby you enjoy contributes to an active lifestyle.
Another one of the built-in gardening benefits for seniors is the time spent outdoors. Seniors often struggle with vitamin D deficiency and don't get enough fresh air. Seniors who spend even a short time in the garden once a day can significantly improve their overall wellness.
Eating from the garden
One of the greatest joys of gardening is the ability to eat and cook with your own food and herbs. Eating from the garden is a great way to work in a couple extra servings of fruit and vegetables, which are critical for a healthy diet. Examples of healthy foods to grow in the garden include:
Whether it is a few leaves of basil that have grown over a few weeks or vegetables that have taken an entire season to ripen, eating from your garden is a great benefit.
Gardening and becoming a part of the community
Joining a community of other seniors with shared interests is one of the best ways for seniors to stay engaged and active. In many towns and cities, a vibrant gardening community gets together to share tips and talk about their experiences. Local gardening for seniors club offers an easy way to meet new people and gather tips to improve your gardening skills.
Staying active with Buckner Retirement Services
At Buckner Retirement Services, our staff is dedicated to empowering seniors to explore new hobbies and partake in activities they love each day. Our programs enable gardening for seniors regardless of age, health or mobility.