Has your elderly parent ever had to reduce their time spent in the garden due to safety concerns? They can continue to enjoy doing what they love with these gardening safety tips. After all, passions and hobbies are a large part of what makes retirement fulfilling.
Benefits of Gardening for Seniors
Let’s quickly jump into the benefits your elderly loved one can gain from continuing gardening as a hobby. A few ways this hobby can improve one’s life are as follows:
- Enabling self-sufficiency in growing nutritious, home-grown produce
- Adopting new skills that can improve one’s cognitive health and all motor skills
- Relieving feelings of anxiety and stress
- Achieving small successes that can boost confidence
- Maintaining a level of physical confidence through an enjoyable activity
- Preventing diseases like osteoporosis
- Acting as a conversation starter and improve one’s social wellness
Common Issues Faced When Gardening for Seniors
Gardening is a popular hobby, but kneeling, bending, and working the soil can become physically challenging with age. As older individuals generally have less strength, exerting too much force or overworking themselves physically could cause serious injuries. Falls are more common because balance becomes poorer with age. Sufferers of arthritis or osteoporosis could also have a difficult time with movement and flexibility. Another common issue for older adults when it comes to gardening is having decreased vision, which can restrict one’s activities and cause accidents. This population is also significantly more susceptible to sunburn. Rather than relieving one’s stress and having fun, gardening could cause great harm if no efforts are made to ensure their safety.
Gardening Safety Tips for Seniors
Garden equipment, tools, and spaces can be adapted to help reduce the stress associated with gardening for older individuals. Here are a few simple ways your loved one can switch things up in the garden for a better experience:
- Preventing accidents – If your loved one has reduced eyesight and physical strength, consider moving commonly used items for gardening closer to their eye level. Also, do your best to ensure that paths are kept flat, all clutter is gone, and that drinks are kept separate from chemicals. Having lightweight tools with a good grip, raised garden beds, as well as solid benches are easily accessible.
- Preventing insect bites – Be sure to spray insect repellent on their clothes before they enter the garden and to always check up on them for any fresh cuts, scratches, or insect bites.
- Preventing sunburn – Don’t forget to put on a hat, long-sleeved tops, and slather sunscreen on exposed skin before heading out to the garden under the sun. Since older individuals are more prone to sunburn, heatstroke, and skin damage, this step is absolutely crucial for their health.
Since gardening requires physical exertion, it is best to consult a doctor to understand whether you may have any limitations. As a general rule of thumb, warm-up stretches are suggested before your loved one starts working on their garden.
Why Choose Discovery Village At Westchase?
At our retirement community, we offer various senior living options especially designed for older individuals with different needs and preferences.