Did you know that 55% of households maintain some kind of garden in the United States? Gardening has been around for hundreds of years and is a popular hobby for many around the world. However, this hobby has grown exponentially in the last few years. It’s estimated that 18.3 million new gardeners have joined the gardening community in the last three years alone. While most of these newcomers are millennials, seniors can also benefit from taking up gardening. In senior living facilities, gardening is a great way to keep busy and stay active. This hobby comes with a host more benefits compared to playing cards or watching television. Want to learn more about the benefits of gardening for seniors? Read this guide on what you need to know.
Popular Senior Living Activities
Senior hobbies come in all shapes and sizes. These hobbies are designed to help seniors stay healthy and active during their retirement. Here’s a quick look at the most popular senior living activities and hobbies to consider.
Walking is one of the most essential forms of exercise that everyone should include in their daily routines. Even a short walk every day can help get your blood flowing. This will help you stay physically and mentally fit while you’re at a living facility.
Swimming is another popular activity for seniors. This is because swimming is a low-impact exercise that can help you move your joints in a less aggressive way. Swimming pools are also a great place to do standing exercise routines as the resistance helps prevent injuries.
Games are a popular attraction in senior living facilities. These games can range from simple card games to specially-designed board games. Some games may be introduced specifically to help with memory care. In this way, the game serves a double purpose.
Dancing is one of the most subtle ways to incorporate exercise into your routine. Since you’re moving along and having fun, you forget that you’re actually doing exercise. This is great for seniors to have fun with those living around them.
Many agree that gardening is the best senior hobby to pick up. This is because gardening stimulates the body and the mind. Gardening isn’t a short activity and can actually be drawn out into a larger project. In this way, seniors can learn the basic skills and use them to create a beautiful garden over time. This keeps them active, healthy, and motivated for months instead of hours.
Benefits of Gardening in Senior Living Facilities
When you take a closer look at gardening, you’ll notice that there is a wide range of benefits. These benefits apply to everyone, but seniors stand to benefit the most. The benefits of gardening are both mental and physical. This is what makes it so ideal for seniors that are living in assisted living facilities. Here’s a quick look at the benefits of gardening for seniors.
1. Physical Exercise
Gardening is a physical activity that will require you to spend some time outdoors. While you can maintain an indoor garden, physical activity is still required. Even if you’re not turning the soil, you’re in constant motion when you plant and take care of your garden.
2. Mental Stimulation
Gardening will require you to test your memory and also helps decrease stress and anxiety. In this way, it can be incredible to improve your general mental health.
3. Social Interaction
Gardening can easily become a group activity. This allows seniors to build relationships with others around them. Additionally, this can also be something that seniors can teach to their kids and grandkids when they visit.
4. Nutritious Food
If you want to create a food garden, this has even more benefits for seniors. This is because you can grow the food and snacks that you eat. In this way, you can get nutritious, healthy food straight from the garden.
5. Sense of Purpose
Having a garden gives seniors a sense of purpose. Gardens need to be watched and maintained in order to grow. This means that seniors have a responsibility and purpose to get out of bed every morning.
The Importance of Healthy Seniors
Active seniors are healthy seniors. This is why the best senior living facilities come with extensive schedules to always keep everyone busy. This is even more important in memory care and dementia care facilities. In these specific facilities, there’s an added focus on mental stimulation. This helps keep the mind active and healthy.
How Gardening Can Help
Senior activities in these kinds of facilities need to be basic yet challenging for the mind. This is why gardening is often the best choice. Gardening is based on basic principles that everyone already has some understanding of. However, creating and maintaining your own garden is still a challenge. This gives seniors something to strive towards and a goal to achieve. In many ways, it can be the activity that gets them out of bed early every morning. As a project, it has the ability to bring seniors together. This helps build relationships with others in the senior living facility. Maintaining a community garden requires a variety of skills that everyone can learn and benefit from.
Staying Active in a Senior Living Community
Assisted living facilities come with a host of benefits. This includes having the care that you need along with daily activities to keep you busy. However, these activities are not randomly selected to take up time, they serve an underlying purpose to keep you mentally and physically active. Whether you need general care or Alzheimer’s care, there are activities designed to help you stay healthy and active. If you’re considering senior living for a family member or friend, we invite you to book an appointment today.