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Get into gardening this Autumn …a little dirt won’t hurt!

In fact, it can promote health and wellness – especially for seniors. That’s why gardening programs are sprouting up at senior living communities worldwide. Here are some tangible benefits of gardening for interested Westmont seniors plus a few tips to keep everybody safe.

  • The physical benefits of gardening for seniors are one of the many reasons that it’s being incorporated into exercise programs at senior living facilities. Gardening activities like digging, cutting, and pulling up weeds can safely raise a senior’s heart rate to the point where it becomes exercise.
  • Gardening has also been shown to boost a senior’s mental sharpness and motor skills as well as reducing the risk of falls. A recent UK study showed that senior gardeners had better balance and a steadier gait than non- gardeners.
  • Another one of the benefits of gardening for seniors that can’t be emphasized enough is the valuable exposure to natural light. Low bone density is an issue for many seniors and gardening gives them a chance to absorb additional Vitamin D from sunlight.

There’s a reason that gardening is often listed as a leisure activity. Despite the fact that it can be physically demanding, the relaxation benefits of gardening for seniors can reduce their stress. Just being outdoors can stimulate the senses in a pleasing way that reduces tension or anxiety.

The Journal of Health Psychology recently conducted an experiment that showed the benefits of gardening for seniors. The study revealed that spending time in a garden provides more stress reduction than reading! This could be due to the sensory enjoyment that gardening provides. With gardening, seniors use all their senses from smelling the flowers to hearing the sounds of nature.

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