Gardening as a hobby has resurged due to the coronavirus. People found it a great way to spend time while locked indoors. Some even found growing their own vegetables as a means to have access to fresh produce. Even our elderly loved ones found solace in gardening, especially since there are plenty of easy-to-grow plants for seniors.
Gardening’s Positive Effects on the Elderly
Gardening is an activity that seniors can enjoy, and modern senior living facilities are ensuring that residents can enjoy its benefits. Here are some of them:
- It alleviates stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that gardening can lower the levels of cortisol in the brain. While this hormone is essential to our bodies, too much can cause glucose levels and blood pressure to fluctuate.
- Gardening is a great exercise. Seniors need exercise, and gardening can provide them with the physical activity they need. It’s not as strenuous as riding a bike or running, but it can still get your muscles moving. Make sure you do some light stretching first to prevent hand injuries like tendonitis.
- It boosts their immune systems. Research shows that certain bacteria found in garden soil can help our immunity. The Mycobacterium vaccae is a “friendly” bacteria that can help manage allergies and asthma. It could also alleviate feelings of depression.
- It can help prevent dementia. One study indicates that gardening can cut down the risk of dementia by more than 35%. The activity pushes the elderly to use their motor skill and sensory awareness, which could help maintain the mind’s vital functions.
- Gardening can make people happy. Seniors can benefit from the fresh air and sunshine they can get when tending to their outdoor gardens. Even indoor gardens will require older people to work where it’s bright, which can help increase the serotonin levels in the brain.
Top Easy-to-Grow Plants for Seniors
This plant is a good choice since they’re constantly blooming. You can place them in windows that face the south. The plant doesn’t require constant watering, making it ideal for seniors who are quite forgetful.
Aloe vera is another plant that the different types of senior living facilities typically have. They’re easy to care for and also have several healing properties. Even seniors with little gardening skills or experience will find this succulent an ideal addition to their room or apartment. The aloe vera loves sunlight and dry soil. It won’t die on you even if you forget to water it for a week.
Amazon Elephant Ear
These plants have heart-shaped leaves reminiscent of an elephant’s ear. It requires a humid and warm environment and will thrive in indirect sunlight. Misting the leaves when watering the plant will mimic its natural habitat. It will also give elderly hands a good workout.
The Christmas cactus looks less like a cactus and more like a rose bush. It’s one of the best easy-to-grow plants for seniors because it’s low maintenance. The plant produces swirls of silky blooms in rose, lilac, white, or reddish-orange hues. It blooms from mid to late December and gives a festive feel to any room. It needs bright light and well-draining soil.
Another popular plant among the elderly is the peace lily. The plant’s lush, dark green foliage and white flowers add beauty anywhere. They’re also easy to grow and prefer a humid environment. Remember to keep its soil moist and away from direct sunlight.
Seniors will enjoy taking care of this unique plant. The peperomia comes with beautiful leaves that vary in shape, texture, and color. They’re also small enough to place on tabletops or small window sills. If you want to try your hand in dish gardening or terrariums, you should start with the peperomia.
A rosemary plant will do wonders for your room. Its fragrant aroma is known for improving one’s mood, clearing the mind, and alleviating stress. It’s particularly effective for individuals with chronic anxiety or hormonal imbalance. It grows well on window sills where they can get four hours of sunlight.
Spider plants have distinctive thin and long leaves. You can choose from several varieties of spider plants. Its long leaves make it a perfect hanging plant. Hang it near your bed so you can enjoy its air purifying qualities.
Senior Living Tips for Elderly Gardeners
As enjoyable as gardening is, you need to do some adjustments to make the activity better for seniors. First and foremost, consider their safety when designing a garden or landscaping your facility. Make sure plants are not in walkways. All surfaces for planting, whether they’re window sills or a table, should be stable. Invest in basic gardening tools, but make sure to only buy ergonomic ones to reduce stress on the hands and wrists.
Design the space to be more accessible to elderly gardeners. Raised beds are better and put less strainful on their backs and joints. It’s a good idea to invest in vertical planters. This will make it easier for them to reach vegetables and provide easy access to flowers. You should also consider the types of plants you want available for them. Choose hardy species and those that require minimal tending.
Did the article give you ideas on what plants are great for seniors to grow? Cool! You should also read this post on the Different Types of Senior Housing.
Live Your Best Life
At Landscape Improvements, we help you sustain the right plants for your house or a retirement community. Talk to our landscape experts today! Call us (407) 426-9798 or message us at firstname.lastname@example.org