A garden is always beautiful to look at. But we all know it takes work to keep a garden going. Many seniors love to garden and as they retire, they naturally have more time on their hands. This means they can have more time to garden.
However, once you reach retirement age, many seniors have less of an ability to keep a garden going in the manner in which they are accustomed. The bending and lifting required for upkeep of a garden becomes more difficult to accomplish. Nevertheless, there are ways to help alleviate the common problems associated with aging and gardening This is why I want to talk about senior-friendly gardens.
Why is Gardening Good for Seniors?
It’s a given that gardening will help a senior to exercise on a regular basis. But did you know that a study was conducted showing that gardening may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by 36%. This is because the active involvement in gardening requires the use of sensory awareness as well as dexterity.
Gardening is also a good way to relieve anxiety and stress. Gardening has been shown to “lower cortisol levels in your brain.” Cortisol sustains the body functions and is sometimes called “the stress hormone.”
While one goes about tending to their garden, they are also outside getting fresh air and sunshine. It’s a fact that you can only get Vitamin D sufficiently through sunlight. When skin is exposed to sunlight it makes Vitamin D from cholesterol. This process is necessary to maintain a healthy immune system. It’s also a fact that you must be outside in order to absorb sunlight. It is not an option to be behind a window.
And don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty when gardening. It has been proven that “Mycobacterium vaccae, the bacteria that is found in garden soil, can improve your immune system” as well.
Designs for Senior-Friendly Gardens
These garden designs are best if built up to waist-high, thus eliminating bending over. However, even raising your beds one or two feet higher than the ground is helpful as well.
Many vegetables can be planted in vertical gardens. Squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and beans are great choices for this type of garden plan. It’s also an ideal form when it comes time to harvest your crops.
Kneeler stools are great to help you get up and down while working in the garden. They are equipped with side rails and a kneeling pad in the center.
Back Support Belt
If a back support belt can help a lumbar jack, I am certain that one of these types of support can be helpful for senior with a bad back. It will help you to keep your back in line as you bend and go about your tasks in the garden
Ergonomic tools are designed to help those with disabilities such as arthritis. There a many senior-friendly tools available under this category. Everything from pruners to garden pickers (a grabber tool with an extended arm). And, sure enough, they have a robotic mower that you can operate from the comfort of a lawn chair.
“Never underestimate the healing power of a quiet moment in the garden.”
Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.
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