The elderly, like us, need an activity to keep them busy and improve their well-being. Given the reduced mobility and flexibility due to ageing, most gardening activities are great exercise both physically and emotionally. The engagement often encourages the use of motor skills, improving endurance, reduction of stress levels, relaxation, and wellbeing, reduces osteoporosis and can be a supply of self-grown produce. However, given their vulnerability, the choice of gardening activity should ensure gaining all these benefits while adhering to safety and problems associated with ageing.
Here are a few activities that will definitely be easy to carry out yet still give the benefits earlier mentioned.
This is a relatively easy exercise for the elderly. Watering is less physically demanding compared to other activities especially if you install a watering hose. Watering cans are relatively bulky and could be a bit tasking especially if your loved one has a bad back or arthritis. If you can’t install a watering hose, invest in a low volume watering can that won’t be heavy to lift or use. Also, consider getting a pair of gardening gloves to protect the hands from the plastic or metal of the watering can.
Planting is more engaging and involves both your motor skills and flexibility given the plane of movement (whether done seated on a gardening tool or upright). All you have to do is have someone do the heavy preparation like tilling and clearing the garden. After this, you can handle the actual planting very easily without straining too much. Stick to light planting that involves the use of sizeable seedlings, seeds or cuttings. Keep off plants that need deep planting or propagate through huge cuttings unless you have someone to help you do the heavy lifting.
When your seedbed before planting, you need a rake to level it. This is less demanding and somehow relaxing activity for you. But this is not limited to only seedbeds. You can extend this to your garden removing tree leaves that dot your meticulous garden.
Trimming and Pruning
Pruning small plants like the rose bush, some tomato plants and other small plants could be quite rewarding. Remember to get them a part of thorn resistant elbow length gloves and good pruning shears or scissors and they will be good to go. The good thing about this activity is it can be done in the backyard garden or even on potted plants hanging in the house or the patio.
Weeding not only gets rid of the unwanted plants in your garden but also gives you the benefit of physical engagement. Especially if done by hand through pulling. You get the benefit of stretching your muscles while at it.
If you have a tomato or fruit garden, this is one of the best activities. While replenishing your food reserves, you get the benefit of surveying your garden while picking the ripe fruits for your own consumption. The feeling of wellbeing associated with this improves your mental well-being. What’s more fun about it is it less physically demanding.
Crafts Associated with Gardening
Senior citizens can keep themselves busy and engaged by creating things for either use in their gardens or supplementary to their gardening activities. A senior can decorate their garden using artistic designs e.g. wind chimes. Ensuring your garden has an exquisite look and feel. These crafts are normally so engaging given the attention to detail associated with them during their systematic creation which involves creativity, art design and final implementation.