Some of the great joys of the spring season include the pleasant weather and the return of nature that was dormant in the winter. With the sunshine and rain the season presents, it also makes it a great time to get back into gardening.
For some people, gardening might simply mean sprucing up your yard by adding a variety of flowers and plants. For other people, gardening may also entail planting some vegetables to grow in the yard for personal use.
Seniors can find great joy in gardening. It is a hands-on activity that allows them to enjoy the outdoors and work on improving the appearance of their home. However, gardening can be a physical, strenuous activity that may not be as easy for elderly individuals to handle as it used to be. But this doesn’t mean seniors cannot still enjoy gardening. With the necessary precautions, seniors can still partake in gardening as a fun spring activity.
Continue reading for some gardening tips for the elderly gardeners in your life.
1. Prioritize Your Safety
With any activities — especially for seniors — safety needs to be a priority. Out in the yard of the home, there might be rocks, uneven ground, branches, and other hazards that could cause seniors to trip and fall, potentially resulting in an injury.
Knowing this, have a family member, friend, or even a neighbor accompany your loved ones in the yard. This person can guide seniors, helping them to avoid any tripping hazards. They could also look around the yard beforehand to scope the area and remove or address potential tripping hazards.
2. Wear Appropriate Attire
When you are out in the sun for a long time to garden, you need to be dressed appropriately for the activity. Seniors should wear sturdy clothing that covers their limbs but isn’t so heavy that the sunshine or heat bothers them.
It might seem to make sense to wear short clothing, but skin thins as people age. Any scratches that seniors get from branches and other things could easily worsen and become infected. So seniors need to be mindful of this when choosing to wear shorter articles of clothing as gardening attire.
In addition, it is a good idea for elderly individuals to wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. Not only will the sunglasses provide protection from the sun, but they will also prevent debris from getting into their eyes. Aside from proper attire, seniors should also apply (and reapply) some sunscreen on their exposed skin.
3. Garden at a Higher Level
Tending to a ground-level garden can be especially tough for elderly individuals because it can be difficult for them to get down and up from such a low level. This can make an elderly individual’s joints achy, which will make it a struggle to do anything. The situation can be even worse for seniors who have arthritis.
Knowing this, one of the best senior gardening tips is to create a garden at waist-level. By having an off-ground garden, the experience will be easier and more enjoyable for elderly individuals.
To do this, get as many raised planter beds as desired, but do not get anything that is too high off the ground. You don’t want seniors trying to reach too high up or need the assistance of a step stool or ladder. You want seniors to remain comfortably standing on the ground. Ideally, the planters should be long and narrow, not wide and deep, and around two to three feet off the ground.
4. Stay Hydrated and Take Breaks
Whenever you are going to be out in the sun for an extended amount of time, you need to be mindful of your hydration. Seniors should either go back into their home every so often to take a water break, or they should bring a water bottle outside with them to periodically drink from while gardening.
Aside from water breaks, elderly individuals should also take a few moments to relax and step away from gardening work. Gardening can be an enjoyable activity if seniors make sure to hydrate and take breaks to avoid overexerting themselves.
Senior Home Care from Assisting Hands
If you have a senior loved one or are an elderly individual who resides at home alone, it can be beneficial to have someone around to not only provide care and assistance when needed, but also be a social companion. Family and friends may not live close by or might be unable to visit as often as they like. However, it is still imperative that seniors have regular socialization and companionship.
Assisting Hands Home Care can help through our senior home care and companion care services in Park Ridge, IL, and the neighboring Chicago suburbs. Our professional caregivers will form a personal relationship with our clients and act as a companion to them, engaging them in their favorite activities and hobbies. We will also provide complete senior home care, helping with personal care, household activities, and other tasks as needed.
If seniors want to do some gardening, our professional caregivers can offer a helping hand, making sure they remain safe while working in the yard. Or we can simply accompany them during the activity. Gardening is a fun and rewarding activity for senior citizens and it is also a safe hobby to engage in during the pandemic.
With help from the senior home care and companion care services of Assisting Hands, elderly individuals will have the home care and companionship they need to lead safe, healthy lives at home.