5 benefits of gardening in later life
Time can be a simultaneously fluid and constricting force, and for many people, an established routine can be a grounding factor. While short-term sources of joy are essential for motivation, it is important to keep a rewarding stimulus just over the horizon. Life can become monotonous quickly. It is easy to reduce a day as jumping from meal to meal, waking to resting, however, with long-term commitments (like gardening), residents can make efforts to saturate future days. In other terms, they can have something to look forward to. The fulfilment and sense of purpose provided by gardening is certainly beneficial, which is why at signature, we try to support our gardening residents by offering potting rooms, planting trugs, greenhouses and personal garden areas.
1. Connecting with others
It may not be the most obvious but gardening can be quite a social hobby and provides an amazing bonding experience for those involved. To work on a project tirelessly and then enjoy the literal fruits together can allow residents to acquaint themselves with each other effectively. A wholesome activity where people can work towards a common goal provides the basis of a meaningful connection, which is increasingly important for elderly people.
2. Connecting with nature
When cooped up inside, it is easy to lose sight of the vital things to life. Being outside and creating in nature can allow space for deeper thought and benefit the mental health of elders. To get away from man-made structures and just enjoy the natural environments provided around Signature homes is meditative in itself.
3. Dexterity and exercise
Exercise becomes more and more crucial as we get older and it is not always plausible to work out conventionally by running or going to the gym. Even just doing manual labour in the form of gardening is an enriching physical activity. For residents with motor impairments, gardening is a fitting alternative to more extensive exercise, while still allowing them to utilise their dexterity.
The reflective experience of gardening can improve memory retention and general cognitive functions, making gardening a worthwhile undertaking for residents who struggle with such skills. And regardless, it is valuable for people to take some time out of their day to focus on themselves and their own interests.
5. Coping with stress
Stress is a factor which senior citizens must battle with constantly, and gardening is the perfect relief from this. It can reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure while simultaneously providing a safe space in which residents can take comfort in. Gardening is a highly therapeutic endeavour in this sense and helps direct the mind towards worthwhile and productive thought, while improving their general mood.