Gardening For Senior Citizens
Gardening is a healthy activity that can be both physically and mentally stimulating. For senior people beyond their sixties and seventies it can also be a very enjoyable recreation. Any senior citizen who is into gardening will vouch for the fact that gardening as a hobby gives them something to wake up to everyday, something that keeps them going, something that provides the calmness and serenity that old age requires.
Benefits of gardening for senior citizens:
- It is an enjoyable form of physical exercise, that doesn’t require too much strength.
- It enhances strength and endurance.
- It prevents old age diseases that happen due to lack of physical activity.
- It provides a reason to enjoy nature and stay outdoors.
- It may provide fresh fruits and vegetables to eat and add to health in old age.
- It provides a sense of accomplishment and well being.
Adapting the garden for your senior years:
- A garden that was easy to manage during younger years may be daunting in senior years. Perhaps reducing the size and making the activities more focused will help. For example, instead of growing all kinds of plants you may focus on growing only vegetables or fruits or flowers. Even in vegetables you may choose only those varieties that are relatively easy to grow and maintain. Whatever plants and trees you choose to grow, take into consideration the time and the physical exertion required.
- If you can’t sit on your knees for long time or can’t bend yourself and work, consider gardening through containers that are kept on a raised platform.
- Choose garden equipments that are easy to use and provide relief to your back. For example, you can buy pruners, adjustable rakes, garden kneeler seats and lightweight cartwheels.
Avoiding accidents in the garden:
- Like any physical exercise, do some stretching before you begin working in your gardens, to avoid cramps and muscle pulls.
- Don’t get yourself exposed too much in the sun if you belong to a hot climatic region. Choose early mornings and evening for your gardening activities.
- Avoid dehydration by keeping water or juices handy. Drink at regular intervals.
- Avoid working at a stretch. Take small breaks and rest in shade.
- Make sure that the garden paths are smooth, obstruction free and not slippery. A fall because of a muddy, slippery pathway can be very dangerous in old age.
Other points to note:
- In old age, because of thin skin any king of wound or cut can be aggravated. So be extra careful not to hurt yourself. Use equipments carefully.
- Reducing eyesight and lack of peripheral vision can restrict you in your activities. Don’t stretch yourself in such cases.
- Old age reduces memory capacity. You may lose your equipments while working and may not remember where you kept them. To avoid such instances, keep your equipments within eyesight from where you are working.
In spite of some difficulties that you might face because of your old age, don’t let it dampen your spirits. Just take adequate precautions and enjoy the fruits of gardening!
Image credit: Superstock
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