Whether your senior has had a lifelong love of gardening or are a new convert to a popular hobby, gardening’s physical and mental benefits are extensive. Caring for plants has been proven to improve mood and reduce stress, and having an indoor or outdoor garden can be an excellent way to maintain mobility.
For many seniors, the task of gardening gets more difficult as they get older. Here are some tips to maintaining a senior-friendly garden.
Help with the heavy lifting
For many seniors, the days of living heavy bags of soil and compost are beyond them. This spring chore is the first step to starting a garden and preparing beds for planting. Help your senior by doing the heavy lifting and setting up the beds so the garden is ready to plant.
Activities like tree and hedge trimming, putting out mulch and mowing the lawn are necessary, but hard for older adults. Hiring outside help for these tasks can let your senior focus on the more pleasant aspects of gardening.
Reduce weeding and chores
When planting the garden, you can use weed barrier cloth to prevent weeds from taking root in the garden. This will greatly reduce weeds that are deeply rooted and difficult for seniors to remove and let them focus on pruning and maintenance.
Additionally, for a large garden, setting up a drip irrigation system can almost entirely remove the chore of watering. This is useful or seniors who may not be able to lift a heavy watering can or have the ability to stand for long periods of time while watering.
If you do plan to use a hose, look for a lightweight one with an easy-grip sprayer that doesn’t require a lot of squeezing to adequately water the garden. Putting the hose on a roller can also make it easier to wind up when watering is completed.
Stay upright with raised beds
Raised garden beds eliminate the need for your senior to be on their hands and knees in the garden. These can even be made of cedar, which is a natural pest repellent and reduces the need for extensive pesticides.
Provide even pathways
Mobility-impaired seniors may find it difficult to walk on uneven ground, paver stones or gravel. Pathways should be smooth and easy to navigate with a cane or walker if necessary. In some cases, removing gravel and rolling the earth smooth and even can be better than using paving stones.
Use the right tools
Specialty gardening tools with foam grips are easier for seniors to hold without hand pain or cramping. Some tools are even available on extension poles and can be used from a seated position.
Elder care providers can help seniors in the garden and make it easier for them to enjoy their hobby by supervising activities performed outside. Gardening is a restful hobby for seniors, and having an elder care provider present can give caregivers peace of mind. Additionally, having an elder care provider to discuss their hobby with and teach can give seniors additional enjoyment.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Elder Care in Largo, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.