Gardening is a wonderful pastime for all ages, and the elderly are no exception. At KOPWA, we encourage our Residents to stay actively involved outdoors.
There are lots of ways that elderly Australians can keep themselves fit both mentally and physically, and one of the best is gardening.
At KOPWA, we encourage gardening as an activity for our elderly residents. Here’s why:
- Gardening for exercise
Elderly people do not have the same capacity for physical exertion as younger people do. All the same, a sedentary lifestyle is still unhealthy.
Gardening can be a gentle activity and is recommended for seniors because it can help them maintain mobility and flexibility.
- Time spent outdoors
From digestive problems to weak muscles, Vitamin D deficiency caused by lack of exposure to the sun can cause a range of issues. Gardening will encourage seniors to get outside into the fresh air (weather permitting) and boost their Vitamin D levels.
- Gardening for mental health and cognitive ability
Gardening is enjoyable and engaging and provides quality cognitive stimulation that is excellent for keeping elderly minds sharp. Because gardening is made up of lots of different small tasks, it is an effective way to keep the mind engaged and active.
According to webmd.com, other mental health benefits of gardening include:
- Improved mood
- Better self-esteem
- Improved attention span
Gardening can also help to strengthen social bonds when carried out in pairs or groups.
- Connection to the past
Most aged care residents come from a home with a garden. Being able to tend to plants allows them to stay connected to their favourite hobby and reminisce about times gone by.
- The opportunity to learn
Growing and nurturing plants is an activity many people do not have time for throughout the years. It is never too late to learn and we encourage amateur gardeners to try their hand at this fulfilling pastime.
Helping the elderly to garden
Gardening tools and supplies can be altered or specially made for ease of use for the elderly. Kneeling pads are an excellent way to protect the knees, or raised garden beds or vertical gardens can prevent the need for kneeling or bending too much at all.
Lightweight tools can make the job easier for elderly people, while making sure there is shade and somewhere to sit nearby will keep the activity safe.
Gardening safety for the elderly
Of course, gardening does not come without risks. When seniors garden at KOPWA, they are always supervised, firstly to make sure they stay hydrated and are not in the sun for too long. Outdoor temperature and conditions are taken into account before any activities start.
Our staff also keep an eye out for any minor cuts or abrasions that happen while gardening. Quick response and treatment prevent the risk of infection.
Gardening at KOPWA
At KOPWA, we are very aware of all the benefits of gardening as well as the potential risks.
We encourage our residents to engage in gardening as part of their overall physical and mental well-being program, while making sure that they are safe, protected from the sun and well-hydrated.
Gardening is just one of many activities that we provide for our residents to ensure that they are happy and healthy. Book a tour today to see our facilities and garden, and find out more about the activities on offer for elderly residents at KOPWA.