If you are a family caregiver for an elderly adult that enjoys gardening, you should be pleased that they have a fun hobby that keeps them active and outdoors. Gardening can also reduce stress and boost self-esteem in seniors, plus it gives them a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Of course, the benefit of fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers is appealing as well. There’s no doubt that gardening is an ideal hobby for elderly adults.
Usually, family caregivers don’t think of gardening as dangerous or unsafe, but when it comes to elderly adults, there are a few things about gardening that can cause them some harm. Because of physical challenges, many seniors need to make modifications to their garden and their gardening habits as they age. When you and your elderly loved one follow these safety and health tips for senior gardeners, they’ll be able to enjoy their hobby for years to come.
Here are some tips for senior gardeners that family caregivers and elderly care providers should implement to keep them happy and healthy:
- Build raised beds that let elderly gardeners plant, weed and harvest without bending, stooping or kneeling.
- Set up a container garden in a variety of large pots and baskets set on their porch and patio for seniors in wheelchairs and walkers.
- Purchase garden tools with large grips and thick foam handles so senior gardeners with arthritis can maintain a firm grip.
- Provide a garden stool or bench so the elderly person can remain comfortable and stable as they work.
- Ask elderly care providers to put sunscreen on the elderly gardener, plus lightweight long sleeves, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to prevent sunburn.
- Keep several pairs of gardening gloves around to protect the elderly person’s hands and thinning skin from cuts and scrapes.
- Instruct elderly care providers to keep the aging adult hydrated as they garden so they don’t suffer from heatstroke.
- Allow the senior gardener to be outside in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the worst of the UV rays and hot temperatures.
- Scale back the size of the garden to best fit the elderly adult’s abilities and needs. Too much garden can be overwhelming and frustrating.
- Let elderly care providers do the heavy lifting of pots, equipment and more so the elderly gardener doesn’t overexert themselves.
- Keep a watchful eye out for uneven paths and other obstacles that could cause a slip and fall accident.
When it comes to gardening, seniors can do as much as they want when they and family caregivers implement a few modifications. Over time, it may be more necessary to scale back the size and scope of the garden to fit into their ability. It’s in an elderly gardener’s best interest to keep going as long as they want to because gardening is good for both the body and the mind.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Inverness, IL, please contact the caring staff at Inspired Care Home Health today. Call and talk to our friendly caring staff at 847-787-7572.