Published: October 27, 2022
It’s common for aging loved ones to feel overwhelmed by new senior living environments, and the benefits of gardening for mental health are outstanding.
Maintaining a garden, or even caring for a single plant, gives them control in an unfamiliar situation. Nurturing plants also helps maintain existing skills that provide pleasure and confidence at a time when memory loss or physical decline can affect people’s self-esteem, says the Alzheimer’s Society’s garden guide.
Gardening may also decrease loneliness, according to healthcare workers that assist the elderly. Researchers found a significant drop in loneliness among adults in their 80s who participated in an eight-week indoor gardening program compared with their peers who did not garden.
Most seniors tend to suffer dementia, and gardening can address this challenge as well. Since gardening is a physical activity involving cognitive functions, it helps keep the mind active. Studies indicate that daily gardening can lower the risk of dementia by up to 36%, making it great natural therapy for seniors.
Critically thinking about what to plant and how to take care of plants when preparing a garden is paramount, and that can also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s among seniors. Driving can also become a challenge for seniors, but regular gardening will help them maintain their motor skills, while improving strength and endurance too.
Sometimes, seniors become anxious about various things, which can be quite stressful. They often experience restlessness or hopeless when they have to depend on someone else. But gardening can give them their own outlet and responsibility.
Gardening allows seniors to take care of something, which helps them cultivate a sense of self-worth. This activity can also increase serotonin levels to boost your mood reduce feelings of depression. Thanks to these benefits, “horticulture therapy” is gaining popularity today.
Lowering stress levels can also reduce the risk of high blood pressure, and that explains Additionally, seniors who engage in gardening activities lower their level of cortisol, the “stress hormone,” since the soil itself appears to contain bacteria that unlock serotonin to elevate their mood
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