Gardening is one of the best hobbies for older adults, offering sunlight, fresh air, and a healthy dose of physical activity. Whether you’ve got a lifelong green thumb or you’re picking up the pruning shears for the first time, spending time in the garden is a great way to stay fit and feel great in your golden years. 5 Gardening Tips for Seniors
Like almost any other activity, gardening can become more difficult in old age. But with the right precautions, gardening can be a safe and rewarding pastime for older adults.
Worried that age might get between you and your begonias this year? Here are five ways you can make gardening a more senior-friendly activity.
1. Plant Smarter
A lot of seniors become first-time gardeners in retirement. Meanwhile, others in their 70s and 80s find that gardening gets harder with each passing year. In either case, it’s a good idea for seniors to plant easy-to-care-for plants. Look for plants that are resistant to weeds, that don’t require too much pruning, and that can withstand a little neglect.
2. Grow Up Already!
The biggest reasons most older adults give up gardening is the amount of kneeling and bending involved. If you have joint pain or back pain, gardening can quickly become an unpleasant activity. Here’s a solution: grow vertically. Many senior gardeners switch to raised planters and trellis-based plants so that they put less strain on their knees and spine.
3. Choose Equipment Wisely
Another common issue seniors face when gardening is hand pain. This is typically caused by arthritis-related discomfort. It can also be caused by uncomfortable gloves that chafe or irritate sensitive skin. To avoid these issues, older gardeners should pick their equipment carefully. Make sure to use ergonomic pruners and hand tools, and pick comfortable gloves that offer adequate skin protection.
4. Beat the Heat
Seniors are vulnerable to dehydration, sunburn, and heat stroke. Given these risks, older adults should always take precautions when partaking in outdoor activities during warm months. If you’re gardening, do it during the morning, before it gets too hot. When you go out, wear lightweight, light-colored, long-sleeved clothes, plenty of sunscreen, and a shady hat. Always drink plenty of water before, during, and after gardening, and take breaks in the shade if you’re gardening for longer than 15 minutes at a time.
5. Pick a Partner
Gardening is safer and easier if you can do it with a partner. Many older couples garden together, while other seniors enjoy spending time in the garden with a friend. Seniors who find gardening difficult or somewhat unsafe may wish to partner with a caregiver who can lend a helping hand. This could be a family caregiver, such as a son, daughter, or grandchild. Or it might be a professional caregiver from a local senior care agency.
At Visiting Angels®, our companion care services are a popular option for seniors who need a helping hand with favorite hobbies and activities, including gardening. To learn more about our services, call us at 800-365-4189 today or contact your local office directly.
5 Gardening Tips for Seniors
5 Gardening Tips for Seniors 5 Gardening Tips for Seniors 5 Gardening Tips for Seniors 5 Gardening Tips for Seniors 5 Gardening Tips for Seniors 5 Gardening Tips for Seniors 5 Gardening Tips for Seniors 5 Gardening Tips for Seniors 5 Gardening Tips for Seniors 5 Gardening Tips for Seniors