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How Gardening Benefits Seniors in Assisted Living CommunitiesSeptember 25, 2020 0 Comment Category: Assisted Living
Gardening has many surprising health benefits for seniors, which is why most assisted living communities promote the activity among their residents. For instance, it keeps seniors engaged and active, while helping to reduce the likelihood of some common ailments associated with aging as well. Below are some of the most amazing benefits of gardening for seniors in assisted living care facilities.
It Helps to Burn Calories
Aging reduces mobility in seniors, which is why many of them spend their time sitting in one place or sleeping. This kind of inactivity can lead to higher calorie retention in the body, which can cause other complications in seniors. Gardening gives a simple way to exercise and burn calories by pulling weeds and planting seeds. It is even reported that light yard work and gardening can help to burn up to 330 calories in an hour.
It Helps to Relieve Stress
It is common for seniors to become anxious about a variety of things and stress over them. This could range from their family problems to worrying over their declining health condition. This can lead to restlessness and distress in seniors. Gardening can help to divert their focus and give them the responsibility to take care of their plants. This, in turn, helps to cultivate a sense of purpose and reduces stress and feelings of depression.
It Promotes Heart Health
Seniors are prone to a wide range of heart diseases due to the weakening of their heart muscles and other health complications. As gardening is a moderately intense exercise, it can help to lower the risk of heart attack as well as eliminate the risk of stroke in seniors. Moreover, vitamin D intake during gardening is also seen to be beneficial in promoting heart health and fighting various heart diseases.
It Improves Bone Health
Regular gardening also helps seniors to maintain their motor skills while improving bone strength and endurance. Exposure to sunlight while gardening also helps seniors to benefit from natural vitamin D, which improves their skeletal health as well as metabolic functions. At the same time, caregivers at assisted living communities also make sure that their senior residents stay hydrated while gardening as well as protect themselves from skin burns by using high-quality sunscreen lotions.
It Helps to Boost Immunity
Gardening involves interacting with the soil and getting a little dirty. However, this is good for seniors and can benefit them by boosting their immunity. Studies say that the mycobacterium vaccae bacteria in garden soil can help to improve the immune system in seniors. It can also help to ease the symptoms of various health conditions, such as psoriasis, depression, and various allergies. Gardening is also seen to benefit asthma patients by improving their immunity.
It Lowers the Risk of Dementia
A majority of seniors are prone to suffer dementia due to their cognitive decline and aging-related issues. This challenge can also be addressed with gardening because it is not only a physical activity but also works to stimulate cognitive functions and keep the mind sharp. This is because seniors will need to plan what to plant and consider how to take care of them. Studies say that daily gardening activities can help to reduce the risk of dementia by up to 36% in seniors.
It Provides Socializing Opportunities
Living in an assisted living care facility is all about community lifestyle and socializing. Gardening can be a great activity to enjoy with likeminded people and have a good time working in the yard. Social interactions are also therapeutic and keep seniors away from the feelings of isolation and depression. The garden can be a safe space for seniors to connect with each other and discuss their plans about beautifying the community area.