Gardening is a popular pastime that offers seniors an opportunity for relaxation, but tending plants can also hold valuable benefits for a senior’s physical health. It may be the perfect activity for seniors receiving home care. Roseville caregivers can also help seniors with gardening so they can spend some time outside their doors. Here are just a few of the ways your senior loved one can enhance his or her physical wellbeing while enjoying a favorite hobby.
Increased Hand Strength and Dexterity
As part of the aging process, older adults lose some of their muscle strength. Those with health conditions such as arthritis may also experience stiffness that interferes with their dexterity. Fortunately, both of these issues can be helped through regular use of the hands. Digging in the dirt and pruning plants both involve actions that can help your loved one maintain and increase his or her abilities.
Many seniors have vitamin D deficiencies, which leaves them at risk for serious health problems such as heart disease and osteoporosis. Since the body requires sunlight to produce vitamin D, gardening outdoors gives your loved one a better chance of maintaining appropriate levels of this vital nutrient. Seniors who grow fruits and vegetables may also be motivated to eat a healthier diet full of vitamins and minerals.
Boosted Immune System
Although digging in the dirt may seem counterintuitive for preventing disease, seniors who garden can be exposed to friendly bacteria in the soil called Mycobacterium vaccae, which is associated with decreased flare-ups of psoriasis, allergies, and asthma. It has also been shown to provide an overall boost to a senior’s immune system and can keep infections at bay.
Decreased Risk of Various Conditions
Gardening is a form of exercise that can easily be adapted to meet your loved one’s needs. For example, raised bed gardens can reduce the strain on his or her joints. If exercise isn’t painful, your loved one may be more motivated to stay active. This increased activity can be healthy for his or her cardiovascular system and decrease the likelihood of strokes and heart disease.
For more information on how gardening and other activities can promote your loved one’s health, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with exercise, cooking, and many other important tasks. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia home care Roseville families trust. To learn more about our elderly care services, call a Care Manager today at 916.226.3737.