Gardening is an excellent way to get outside and enjoy nature regardless of your age. For seniors, lack of mobility, arthritis and other physical challenges don’t have to be the reason they give up digging in the dirt.
In fact, a study by the University of Arkansas found that women aged 50 and older who gardened at least once a week showed higher bone density readings than those who did other types of exercise, including swimming, jogging and walking.
Aside from the physical benefits, gardening can stimulate the senses and provide beautiful rewards. At Cambridge Court, we also have a beautiful garden and landscaped lawns to give you some inspiration. Consider the following tips to help seniors enjoy gardening.
Avoid taking on a project that’s bigger than you can handle. Start with a few hanging pots or container plants, which are both excellent alternatives to a traditional garden plot.
Used Raised Beds
Those with bad backs, knees and other mobility issues can plant raised beds that are easier to reach while seated. These types of beds are usually raised several feet off the ground, which also prevents stooping and muscle pain.
Choose Comfortable Tools
Holding tools can often be difficult when you have arthritic hands. Choose padded handles or foam grips that add traction and soften the handles of traditional garden tools. Long or curved handles also provide better grips and greater leverage.
Opt for Easy Care Plants
Avoid high maintenance plants like roses that need constant care. Instead choose plants that are native to Nebraska and are easy to grow, including Blue Phlox, Clove Currant and Coral Berry. Hardy flowers and vegetables stand up better to the weather in Kearney, so they tend to be more forgiving on seniors who are learning how to care for plants.
Consider using a vertical garden design or trellis that makes it easy to plant and weed flowers and plants without bending.
Use a Garden Stool
Make it easier to get down to the plant’s level by opting for a garden stool or bench. This provides a temporary place to sit and garden for longer.
Choose the Right Time of Day
Avoid being out in the early afternoon when the sun is at its hottest. Instead, garden early in the morning or late in the afternoon and be sure to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Wear Protective Clothes
When gardening, be sure to dress for the weather. Wear a sunhat to shade the face and prevent burning. Use a long-sleeved shirt to prevent scratches on the skin, and always use gardening gloves to safeguard against blisters.