The benefits of gardening for older people
With spring now in full swing, our residents at Barton Lodge and Woodley Grange have been making full use of our beautiful, landscaped grounds. From potting, digging and pruning, to helping water the plants, our residents love to give a helping hand. Not only is this a fun activity for all abilities to enjoy, it’s great for their health too. Here are just some of the reasons why:
Gardens are sensory places where the scenery is constantly changing. The herbs and flowers in summer and crisp golden leaves in autumn can be very stimulating for residents, which is why both our Homes have their very own sensory gardens. These are home to colourful flowers, aromatic herbs and feeding stations for visiting birds to help stimulate senses through touch, sight, scent, taste and hearing.
Encourages physical movement
As we get older it becomes more important than ever to make sure that physical movement is a part of life. Gardening works all of the major muscle groups. This makes it a good way for older people to continue with the aerobic and strength building exercises they need to stay mobile, helping prevent falls.
Improves mental health
While gardening has many physical benefits, it can also positively impact your mental health. After all, science has proven that people are happier in nature. Those who experience depression, which is more common as we age, can improve their mood when they come into contact with soil. When people inhale a certain bacteria that lives in the soil, it increases serotonin levels and reduces anxiety.
Gardening also allows our residents to focus on something that will give them a feeling of true achievement. There’s nothing more rewarding than watching something you have planted grow and blossom into something beautiful.
Vitamin D exposure
Vitamin D is a crucial component of healthy aging. Gardening outside in the sun exposes older people to a natural source of vitamin D. While this is good news, it’s also important to ensure that protective measures are taken to avoid the dangers of exposure to sunlight and problems with dehydration.
To find out more about the activities at Barton Lodge and Woodley Grange, contact our team here.