The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, and heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin
Gardening is good for everyone, and much more for the elderly. Among the countless benefits of gardening for the elderly, we will list some.
1. Gardening is a mood enhancer. The monotony of daily living makes for depression and hopelessness. Gardening is both rejuvenating and therapeutic. It can bring a sense of peace and happiness. It can be meditative, focusing on the present. It can be stimulating and tranquil simultaneously. It may help to bring on a positive mind-set and forget the ailments, the loneliness and aging for some time. All the five senses cooperate in this activity add the zing to an old person’s life.
2. Gardening or even supervising gardens is a great way to use the muscles and the joints. The feel and the texture of the mud and soil, caressing the trees and plants can activate the mind, body and spirit. Nurturing plants can be both relieving and relaxing. It can help to give confidence and induct a sense of control.
3. Gardening in the sun is good for the skin, bones, eyes, ears and heart. Vitamin D from the sun can aid in calcium absorption, bone health and strengthen the immune system. Every part of a person, be it physical or emotional, is awakened and recharged for another day.
4. Gardening helps provide companionship and friendship for the elderly. Learning about plants and flowers from each other or from books is exchange of ideas. Hints on gardening techniques and understanding the whys and wherefore make the activity pure fun. The social and intellectual communication received from gardening or gardening related activities is fulfilling and satisfactory (use of right instruments, posture, condition of body and most importantly, age needs to be kept in mind).
5. Gardening is a wonderful empowering experience. It can help building stamina, strength, and improve motor control. Gardening can help in the lubrication of joints and sleep cycles can also see an improvement. It can be beneficial to dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.
Gardening is joy undiluted. The senses come alive with nature’s bounties. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, gardening is considered a moderate intensity level activity. Approximately, 2.5 hours a week would help to decrease heath risk.To conclude, gardening for the elderly is a kind of yoga, a union of the body and soul. As is often said, ‘gardening adds years to your life and life to your years”.A Chinese proverb says, he who plants a garden, plants happiness!
For the elderly therefore encouragement to do gardening might just act as a placebo and herald a new day of grace and upliftment.
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