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Gardening Can Be A Healthy Summer Activity

Since we’re all outside more these summer days, gardening can be a fulfilling and healthy activity for everyone, including seniors. It offers both physical and mental benefits, including exercise, stress reduction, and a sense of accomplishment. Here are some tips and considerations to make gardening easier and more enjoyable for seniors:

Benefits of Gardening for Seniors

  1. Physical Exercise: Gardening involves a range of activities such as digging, planting, weeding, and watering, which help keep seniors physically active and improve their strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  2. Mental Health: Gardening can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It provides a sense of purpose and achievement.
  3. Social Interaction: Community gardens and gardening clubs offer opportunities for social interaction and can help combat loneliness.
  4. Healthy Eating: Growing their own vegetables and fruits encourages healthier eating habits.

Tips for Seniors

  1. Raised Beds and Containers: Use raised beds or containers to reduce the need for bending and kneeling. This can prevent back and joint strain.
  2. Ergonomic Tools: Invest in ergonomic gardening tools with padded handles that are easier to grip and use.
  3. Adaptive Equipment: Consider tools designed for those with arthritis or limited mobility, such as long-handled tools, lightweight hoses, and kneeling pads with handles.
  4. Plan for Accessibility: Ensure pathways are wide enough for walkers or wheelchairs and that the garden layout is easy to navigate.
  5. Take Breaks: Encourage taking frequent breaks and staying hydrated. Avoid gardening during the hottest part of the day.
  6. Gardening Chairs and Stools: Use portable stools or chairs to avoid prolonged standing.
  7. Plant Selection: Choose low-maintenance plants that are easy to care for. Perennials, native plants, and drought-resistant species can be great options.
  8. Pace and Limits: Set realistic goals and avoid overexertion. Gardening doesn’t have to be done all at once.

Safety Considerations

  1. Sun Protection: Wear hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses to protect from the sun.
  2. Proper Footwear: Use sturdy, non-slip shoes to prevent falls.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water, especially on hot days.
  4. Know Limitations: Be aware of physical limits and avoid heavy lifting or activities that can cause strain.

There are plenty of opportunities in the Lehigh Valley to explore gardening. So don’t be shy! Get out and watch the earth grow.

South Mountain Memory Care is committed to providing individualized, compassionate care to support our residents in achieving a well-balanced lifestyle. We strive to allow our residents to remain independent while emphasizing safety. Our focus is to enrich their lives, mind, body and spirit by bringing new initiatives to their day to day regimen while maintaining the activities they find comfort in. South Mountain Memory Care offers the peace of mind you deserve. When it comes to those you care so deeply about, we understand, because we care too.

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