WELLNESS SPOTLIGHT: Gardening for seniors

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Gardening is a familiar pastime that most people can identify with at some time or another.  It doesn’t need to stop as we age, either. There are many ways seniors can continue to garden and receive the harvest of health benefits that go along with it.

Since gardening can be as strenuous or as gentle as people want it to be, seniors can customize their gardens to their abilities.  Many types of kneeler stools can assist in creating a more comfortable and easier gardening experience.  A kneeler stool is a thick foam pad that is comfortable on the knee joints; it also has handgrips to use to stand. When standing, a person can flip the kneeler stool over and us it as a seat for tending to higher areas of the plants.  Raised gardens can also make having a garden a safer activity since they can be as tall as waist high, and people who use wheelchairs can garden just as easily. 

There are many physical benefits that come from gardening, as well as improved self-esteem, psychological wellbeing and decreased depression.

Once started, gardening often becomes a “natural motivation” to continue. Thinking about needing to water the plants and weed the garden helps motivate people to get into the warm sun and garden.

Finding the right type of garden for your skill level is the key to enjoying this activity. For those who do not want to go at it alone, there are alternatives, such as local gardening clubs or seeing if a neighbor would like some help. It may be surprising what a fun activity gardening with others can turn into.

This year on Earth Day, Park View Meadows planted a wheelchair accessible, raised bed garden including several varieties of tomatoes, zucchini, squash, cucumbers and flowers! If you would like to see our special garden, please stop by to see what we have accomplished.

Marie E. Littrell is the Administrator of Park View Meadows, assisted living by Americare, in Murfreesboro. She can be reached at 615.907.5800 or murf@americareusa.net

Tagged under  assisted living, care, garden, gardening, health, marie littrell, meadows, park view, seniors

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