Healthy Gardening Tips
Healthy Gardening Tips for the Elderly
March 30, 2017
Image of Safety in the garden for older people
Safety in the garden for older people and the elderly
March 30, 2017
Image of raised beds making gardening easier

Raised beds making gardening easier

Making gardening easier for elderly people

You may ask why adjustments to equipment and the garden for the safety and enjoyment of your elderly loved one are worth the expense and trouble. The answer is because the contact with nature and living things is beneficial for them. However, a priority for older people and the elderly is making gardening easier.

The Benefits of making gardening easier

Here at Gold Age Australia we know that inactivity, boredom and sedentariness are nefarious to the elderly. Remaining active, mentally occupied and cheerful have a very beneficial impact on the mental and physical health of our elderly residents. That is why we hope that the following article about making gardening easier will provide you with helpful hints for your elderly loved one.

So how can we combat inactivity, boredom and sedentariness? It follows that the elderly cannot be as active as younger people. Therefore something light, easy to do and that brings about happiness would be a good choice. Gardening falls into that category with ease. It is not gardening for survival it is gardening for pleasure, exercise and fresh air. Reconnecting with nature that is somewhat lost in the city.

Gardening has been known to promote relaxation and combat depression. The joy of seeing flowers, fruits and vegetables growing and flourishing can promote a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. More so, if your elderly loved one previously enjoyed a very busy lifestyle. Retirement, restful as it may be can also leave them feeling a bit lost. Perhaps they may even feel useless, or that nobody needs them any more. Well, if they can give gifts of what they have grown themselves they need never feel useless again.

In order to bring this about, you will probably need to make adjustments to the equipment they will use as well as the layout of the garden itself.

What does this involve?

In actuality, the desirable changes probably won’t involve anything major. If they live in an apartment with a balcony they will be limited to potted plants, hanging baskets and vertical gardens. However, if they have access to a garden the scope will be much larger. The important thing is to find out what they like growing and eating. Then you will be able to assist them with the relevant tools.

The most common problems that the elderly face when gardening are bending, kneeling, and carrying heavy objects. To avoid bending and kneeling, the solution is raised beds. Your local garden centre will be able to show you the options. Picking the right equipment will depend on what they would like to grow.

To eliminate carrying heavy objects, tray tables on wheels will provide mobility, edges to stop things from falling off and a firm grip. Furthermore, they will also help with balance and prevent falls. Watering cans are too heavy, so some form of drip feeder would be very helpful. Make sure there is a tap close by, and perhaps a short lightweight hose.

Grip and handling of garden tools can be a problem for arthritic hands. Once again, a visit to your local garden centre and the hardware store will demonstrate new products on the market. Lighter equipment more suited to the elderly as well as rubber have revolutionised gardening.

One more thing…

Finally, to ensure your elderly loved one can rest and enjoy the results of their labours, be sure to provide comfortable garden chairs and a table. After all, gardening is a sensorial pleasure. Just sitting with a lovely cup of tea, enjoying the sights, smells and sounds of their handiwork is bound to provide them with a relaxing, happy end to their day’s work, hopefully leaving no room for depression or anxiety to flourish.

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 Links

  • www.beyondblue.org.au/whatworkslinks (Pages 1, 24) – Yvonne Wells, Catherine Kowalski, Monika Merkes, Karen Teshuva and John van Holsteyn are staff of the Australian Institute for Primary Care and Ageing (AIPCA) at La Trobe University. Glynda Kinsella is Director of postgraduate programs in the School of Psychological Sciences at La Trobe University. Sunil Bhar is a senior lecturer in psychology at Swinburne University. Allison Patchett is General Manager, Innovation and Development, at Uniting AgeWell. Barbara Salzmann (formerly Parker, formerly of La Trobe University) is Senior Research Officer at SuperFriend – IFF Mental Health Foundation.
  • www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/gardening-for-older-people

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