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Senior Health: Gardening for the Mind, Body, and Spirit

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Although the lush flowerbeds and abundant and delicious produce yielded from gardening are wonderful rewards, it’s the mental and physical benefits of gardening that truly make it a worthwhile activity for seniors. Whether you provide live-in or hourly care in Jefferson County, consider helping your loved one start a garden for the following reasons.

Better Nutrition

A study funded by the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension showed that planting a garden increased a person’s consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables provides essential nutrients, including antioxidants, which can help seniors live a longer, healthier life.

Stress Relief

Gardening a scientifically proven stress reliever. According to a study in the Journal of Health Psychology, people who garden experience a much more substantial decrease in stress as compared to other activities, such as reading. Gardening has been shown to reduce stress symptoms such as headaches, irritability, and stomach problems.

Decreased Dementia Symptoms

In a study on the benefits of gardening, researchers found that gardening can help alleviate some of the symptoms of dementia, such as aggressive behavior. This can benefit both the senior adult as well as his or her dementia caregiver.

Physical Activity

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 2.5 hours of activity each week to reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other diseases and illnesses. The CDC recognizes gardening as a moderate intensity activity. Further research shows gardeners tend to perform this activity longer than those participating in activities such as walking, running, and bicycling.

Improved Mental Health

Gardening can help facilitate better mental clarity and awareness. Numerous studies have shown that gardening provides additional mental health benefits beyond stress relief. This includes greater overall satisfaction, happiness, and better coping ability.

Gardening is an excellent hobby for senior adults, providing a host of mental and physical benefits. If your senior loved one needs a helping hand in his or her garden, turn to Home Care Assistance of Jefferson County, CO. Our friendly, compassionate, and experienced caregivers are available to help with a wide variety of tasks including cooking, light housekeeping, transportation, and personal care. To learn more, call (303) 987-5992 and speak with a trusted Care Manager today.