With warmer weather upon us, now is the perfect time to partake in outdoor activities like gardening. For seniors, gardening is a wonderful activity that can have significant health benefits for the mind, body, and soul, while also allowing you to spend time outdoors soaking in the vitamin D and fresh air. However, as we age, it can become physically taxing on our bodies to plant our favorite herbs, vegetables, and flowers in the backyard. Therefore, it’s important to integrate a variety of methods that can make our favorite hobby just a little bit easier on our bodies.
The team at Wesley Enhanced Living Main Line strives to safely nurture our residents’ favorite hobbies by creating a variety of clubs, like the Gardening Club. Our residents love growing their own plants, fruits, and vegetables in our large, above-ground Chef’s Garden. Organic produce grown in our Chef’s Garden is even incorporated into our dining menu for all residents to enjoy in their meals!
Safety Tips for Elderly Gardeners
Here are several precautions that seniors can start implementing into their gardening habits to make the most of their time outdoors.
- Bring your Garden Higher: One of the greatest challenges for seniors that love to garden is the aches and pains associated with all the kneeling or stooping that occurs when digging or planting your favorite flowers. Reduce the risk of injuries and back and knee pain by using raised beds that have added benefits like less weeds, better drainage, and more growing space. Container gardens are also a great alternative that can allow you to grow plants and herbs anywhere and at any time of the year, while also reducing the risk of injury.
- Cultivate Easy-to-Care-For Plants: The older we get, the more important it becomes for seniors to nurture plants that are easy to maintain so gardening can remain a hobby and not become a chore. Look for plants that are weed resistant, doesn’t require much pruning, and can handle a little neglect.
- Dress for Success: When gardening outside in the late spring and summer months, heat can become a significant issue, especially for seniors that are susceptible to heat stroke, dehydration, and sunburn. Seniors should take necessary precautions like gardening in the morning when it isn’t too hot, wearing comfortable clothes and a wide-brimmed hat with sunscreen on exposed skin, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
- Take Breaks Often: Many seniors may feel like they need to overcompensate for what they were once able to do easily by working harder when gardening. However, by pushing your body past its limits, opportunities for injuries can more easily occur. Minimize the risk of accidents by listening to your body and pacing yourself when you are tired. Take breaks often to rest in a shady area and drink refreshing liquids like cool water and iced tea to stay hydrated.
- Garden Together: There’s nothing more fun than sharing in a hobby with a friend. Activities like gardening are much safer and enjoyable when done with someone else who can help with the digging or lifting. If no one is available to lend a helping hand when you’re gardening, keep a cell phone on hand so help is only a phone call away if you need it.
Create Lasting Relationships at Wesley Enhanced Living
At Wesley Enhanced Living Main Line, our residents don’t have to look very far to find friends that share in the same hobbies and interests as they do. Our community fosters a family-like atmosphere where residents can join or create clubs like the gardening club, where they can grow plants in container gardens on their patios or balconies or in our large Chef’s Garden. Choose from our independent living, personal care, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing options and discover the endless opportunities that await you at our communities. Contact us today to find out which option may work best for you.
Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality senior retirement communities for you or your loved ones. Contact one of our Philadelphia area locations and find out why our seniors love where they live. Our staff is happy to discuss your elder’s needs or your own and inform you of our range of services. Virtual tours are now available.