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Can Plants Really Clean the Air?

Indoor air pollution can be surprisingly impactful on our health and wellness because gasses and particles are breathed in and can trigger respiratory problems. Seniors are particularly susceptible to air pollutants, which can magnify existing health complications like asthma and allergies. The primary caregiver for an elderly loved one should consider ways to boost air quality as part of an elderly care plan.

There are many ways to increase the air quality levels in an elderly loved one’s home, including regular air filter changes, electronic air purifiers, avoiding certain household cleaning products and bringing in air-cleaning houseplants. Many people wonder whether plants really can clean the air or whether that’s just a myth. The facts are that several studies show that certain houseplants are actually very efficient at cleaning the air by absorbing harmful particles and gasses and putting pure oxygen back out.

How Plants Clean the Air

Plants have the ability to absorb gasses through their leaves as part of their natural process. They pull out carbon dioxide and generate oxygen. When raised indoors, plants are especially helpful in removing certain harmful compounds from the air, like formaldehyde, xylene, acetone and benzene. This process is called phytoremediation. Once the gasses are absorbed through the leaves, they are neutralized and rendered harmless.

Houseplants can also boost oxygen levels in any room. That’s because they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. An increase in oxygen and a decrease in harmful gasses and chemicals is definitely a win-win situation for the elderly in boosting air quality.

Bring Houseplants into Elderly Homes

Houseplants can help scrub the air and provide a healthier environment for seniors, especially those that are already experiencing some respiratory issues. Plants also provide beauty and enjoyment because they allow a touch of nature indoors. For seniors that aren’t very mobile or who might even be bedridden, having houseplants around can make any room feel fresh and comfortable.

Of course, bringing in plants to boost air quality means more than just sticking any old potted plant on a side table. Plants need to be well-cared for so they are healthy and do the best job possible of absorbing toxins from the air. There are also certain varieties that do a better job than others. For absorbing harmful gasses, plants like bamboo palm, rubber plant, Boston fern, golden pothos and spider plants are top choices. For maximum oxygen generation, dwarf date palm, snake plant, English ivy and wax begonia get the job done.

Seniors need every advantage to staying healthy as their bodies grow less robust in fighting of disease and infection. Indoor pollution has been linked to many different illnesses and is particularly dangerous for seniors. Adding house plants that improve the air quality is a smart move for any family caregiver that is looking to create an elderly care plan that gives their aging loved one the best possible atmosphere to thrive in.