The relationship between a caregiver and a senior can often stay in place on the roles each other plays: one person meeting the physical needs of another. While this dynamic gets the job done, it can hinder the benefits each person may receive from moving beyond simple roles and creating a closer connection. How can they do this? A simple way to unite seniors, caregivers, and even family members is through gardening.
Benefits to Seniors
Seniors can feel depressed or feel less willing to participate due to the limits of their age and health. Gardening takes these restrictions into account. Those who cannot kneel and dig can grow potted plants on a windowsill. Those who can’t cut and weed can do the watering instead. There’s a task for everyone regardless of ability.
Gardening gives seniors a sense of purpose and allows them to provide what they receive – care. It also offers the following opportunities:
- Communing with nature
- Appreciating growth
- Moving the body
- Thinking creatively
- Solving problems
- Staying organized
- Feeling like part of a team
Seniors then can enjoy the fruits of their labors as a healthy meal or a pretty bouquet of flowers on the table. This process can lead to improved mental, emotional, and physical health. Even a senior who lives in an apartment or community without a garden can enjoy having indoor plants.
Benefits to Family Members
As aging progresses for a senior, family members may be unsure of activities that can still be performed. Family members are also taking into account the physical limitations. Fortunately, gardening can be done no matter what limitations the senior may face. Gardening is an easy way to include everyone of all generations and capabilities. It can become a family hobby and encourage visits and involvement with seniors.
Benefits to Caregivers
The job of a caregiver is demanding and challenging and can take its toll over time. Caregivers and seniors can enjoy taking a break from everyday tasks like light housekeeping or running errands to spend time providing companionship through gardening. This is also a benefit for caregivers to relax and take part in a pleasurable endeavor while still maintaining their professional roles. It also allows them to get close to those they serve, building communication, compassion, trust, and appropriate friendship.
Caregivers Who Garden
These positive effects of gardening are not reserved for a select few but are within reach for all. At Home Helpers of Drexel Hill, we understand the value of gardening and other nonconventional activities for seniors, family members, and caregivers. Our caregivers are prepared to participate in different hobbies to bring hope and healing to seniors and their families. Contact us to find the right caregiver match for loved ones.