Spring is just a few weeks away. Garden enthusiasts are probably counting down the days, making plans for this year’s plots and anxious to see their perennial favorites pushing through the thawed earth. They’re ready to get their hands dirty with the weeding, tilling, planting, watering and tending of their gardens.
A number of independent living campuses and assisted living communities provide space for seniors to enjoy private or shared gardens, as well they should, according to this PsychCentral.com article whose title says it all: Seniors Who Dig Gardening Report Better Quality of Life.The article presents research which suggests that, given older adults’ heightened risk for disease (based on poor diet, lack of exercise or lifestyle choices), “a combination of moderate physical activity and increased consumption of fruit and vegetables has been reported to dramatically reduce an adult’s risk for many chronic diseases.” Consider these ideas for cultivating a senior’s love of gardening this spring:
- If the senior living community where your loved one resides does not have sanctioned gardening space for residents, it never hurts to ask a staff member about the possibilities. Most complexes have sufficient open green space to spare.
- Window boxes or mini herb gardens offer a low maintenance option that brightens the apartment from the inside out and gives the senior a daily task that brings satisfaction and joy.
- Research local opportunities for a senior to volunteer at a community garden. That way, they can reap the benefits of gardening without needing the space (or having all the responsibility of the garden lie on their shoulders).