Taking care of a houseplant can help seniors have a more positive outlook and improve their quality of life according to home care providers. Senior care studies have shown that having and maintaining a houseplant can give seniors a boost in their happiness and overall health.
Researchers found that, if given proper instructions – for example through an indoor gardening class – caring for a house plant can lead seniors to feel like they can solve problems and change things in their lives. In other words, caring for a house plant can make seniors feel like they have control over something and help them feel empowered by knowing how to care for their plant. Taking care of something other than themselves gives them a responsibility, responsibility that they may not have had for some time. This sense of empowerment can affect how they feel not only about caring for their plant, but also about other aspects of their lives.
In addition to empowering seniors, studies have shown that houseplants can lead to a reduction in stress and maybe even better recovery during hospital stays. Furthermore, certain houseplants like Sweet Chico, dwarf date palm and Boston fern have also been shown to improve air quality indoors by reducing pollution.
Some considerations should be made before selecting a house plant for a senior. Home care providers recommend that if a senior has never cared for a plant they should start with something that will do well even if neglected from time to time. Spider plants, snake plant and rubber plant are good for first-time indoor gardeners. In addition, if a senior has allergies, there are several plants to avoid. Although which ones will vary depending on the individual’s triggers, such plants often include palm trees, ivy and weeping figs. Another consideration for seniors with allergies is to make sure the senior does not overwater, as this can provide fertile ground for the growth of microorganisms that are bad for allergies.
Much as pets do for some, houseplants can provide seniors with a companion of sorts and help give the senior something to care for which can focus them on something beside their own problems, aches and pains. Less complicated than caring for a pet, home care providers indicate that a houseplant – or even several – can help seniors reduce stress, breathe freely and have a connection with nature even if they cannot get outdoors as much as they would like.