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Healthy Gardening Tips

Healthy Gardening Tips for the Elderly

Healthy Gardening Tips for the Elderly

Are you caring for an elderly loved one who loves gardening? Naturally, your primary concern would be to keep them safe and well. Here at Camberwell Gardens, we are well aware of how many elderly people enjoy gardening and the need for Healthy Gardening Tips for the Elderly. The fresh air and exercise, the smell of the plants, and the sounds made by the many birds all bring about happiness and good health. That is why we would like to share with you some healthy gardening tips for the elderly.

Best of all this enjoyable pastime can be made safe by observing a few simple rules and precautions.

Physical considerations

Firstly, it’s important to monitor progress if your elderly loved one suffers from osteoporosis, arthritis or any other form of skeletal problems. Of course,when you see a reaction then immediate action should be taken. In fact a visit to their doctor is a good starting point. The GP will be able to recommend bone strengthening supplements, as well as the right diet. They will also be able to give some valuable advice about what to avoid. For instance, some people must never lift or carry anything heavy. This could result in joint pain or even injury. Furthermore, the age of the elderly person must be taken into consideration. Their balance may be a little off due to pelvic or hip problems. This may make them more prone to falls. Corrective exercises will improve movement and flexibility. Heat rubs and packs are very effective at the end of the day.

Mental considerations

Similarly, if your loved one is beginning to be affected by conditions such as dementia, or is even just a little forgetful, some precautions are necessary. For instance, don’t leave garden equipment lying around. Particularly implements such as garden rakes, which have sharp teeth and unattended or leaking hoses. Such as anything that is likely to trip them up or cause them to slip because they have not noticed them.  Also ensure no harmful liquids are within their reach. Checking on them regularly will keep them safe and give you peace of mind. Finally, at the end of the gardening session, make sure that everything is put away and all water is turned off.

Skin protection

Depending upon the age of your elderly loved one, precautions may need to be taken to protect them from sunburn and other skin conditions. Make sure they wear sunscreen and a hat with a fairly wide brim. It’s a good idea to cover their arms as well, in light cotton or cheesecloth if the weather is warm. Check them at the end of their happy gardening session to make sure they have no cuts or bruises that need attention. To avoid infection it’s important to remove even small things like thorns or splinters promptly.

Eyesight

Some elderly people suffer from varying degrees of poor eyesight. If they wear glasses for instance, make sure they fit well and are clean. Further, ensure their eyesight is checked regularly and their prescriptions changed when necessary. Their eye doctor will give you valuable advice on their current condition and the pitfalls to avoid. If they suffer from any loss of peripheral vision or poor eyesight, make sure all clutter is removed from the garden. Tell them that you will help them with any sorts of liquids or sprays to avoid using the wrong one. Furthermore, reassure them that helping them will be a pleasure for you.

Hydration and body temperature

Last but not least, weather and temperature are important considerations. The body temperature of an elderly person can be susceptible to rapid changes. Regular hydration is important. For instance, make sure they are drinking cool drinks in spring and summer and warming drinks in autumn and winter. The right garments and footwear are important considerations too. Getting wet may bring on a cold. Similarly, being too hot could cause heat exhaustion. The wrong footwear may result in sore feet or aching legs. Footwear with poor grip could provoke a slip or a fall.

In conclusion, the health benefits and joy of gardening are well worth the effort. However when your loved one is gardening, basic safety precautions are advisable.

This blog is intended to provide helpful advice. Please speak with your family GP for personalised information or, for specialist advice & support in Melbourne Australia, contact GOLD AGE AUSTRALIA on enquiriesdeloraine@goldage.com.au / 1800 GOLDAGE (1800 465 324) / Overseas Callers call +61 (03) 9836 9507

Recommended reading: 

http://www.carefecthomecareservices.com/blog/the-benefits-of-gardening-for-seniors/

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/gardening-for-older-people

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