Elderly Care Research Review: 6 Reasons To Start A Home Garden In 2023
Looking for fun, healthy, and affordable activities to add to your loved one’s elderly care plan?
Look no further than your own backyard. Starting a vegetable garden is one of the healthiest things seniors can do at home; it’s hugely rewarding; and it’s dirt-cheap. And with the help of our elderly care teams, getting started is super easy, so anyone can reap the rewards of a healthy harvest and delight in sharing with friends and family—even those living with mobility issues, dementia, or chronic health conditions.
Read on to review research on the transformative health impacts of home gardening, and find out how our elderly care teams can get your loved ones started, or call (608)-315-2378 to speak directly with an elderly care coordinator in Madison, WI.
Elderly Care Research Review: Why Start A Home Garden In 2023?
Elderly care research leaves no doubt: starting and maintaining a vegetable garden is one of the healthiest things older adults can do at home.
Beyond improving access to organic produce and saving money on groceries, home gardening can:
- Improve seniors’ physical health. If your loved ones are having trouble finding enjoyable ways to get active, the answer might lie in the garden!
In one study by the Therapeutic Recreation Journal, researchers Austin et al. (2006) found that community gardening activities at senior centers improved participants’ scores in the Dartmouth COOP Functional Health Assessment and Six-Minute Walk Test, indicating greater energy levels, mobility, and balance (p. 48).
Additionally, Scott et al. (2020) found a strong association between regular home gardening and reduced risks of osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, slip-and-fall injury, and some cancers (p. 2).
- Heal stress, anxiety, and depression. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors across the country faced heightened risk of stress, anxiety, and depression as a result of social isolation and uncertainty about the future (Weerakoon & Wehigaldeniya, 2021). But those who tended to their home gardens during this period showed better ability to cope with psychological problems, along with improved psychological wellbeing and life satisfaction (p. 869).
- Promote social wellness. Gardening is often thought of as a solitary practice, but it creates lots of opportunities to get social, whether you’re sharing tips with fellow greenthumbs at the gardening center, sharing your harvest with friends, family, and neighbors, or taking part in one of Madison’s excellent gardening groups.
In one study by Scott et al., (2020), both home and community gardening was associated with reduced risks of loneliness and social isolation, as well as a greater sense of belonging and connection to community.
Get Growing: Book A Free Elderly Care Consultation In Madison, WI
Growing old is better when you try growing something new! To help you get started, our elderly care teams can:
- Buy and deliver home gardening supplies
- Help with garden planning and research
- Find community gardening groups for your loved ones to join
- Order soil tests, submit samples, and complete amendments to optimize yields
- Assist with weeding, watering, and daily garden maintenance
- Provide safety monitoring and ADL support while gardening
- Ensure your loved ones are hydrated and dressed appropriately for the weather
- Transport your loved ones to-and-from gardening centers or groups
- Help with collecting, cleaning, and preparing your harvests for garden-fresh meals
To learn more about how we can help your loved ones cultivate healthy new hobbies for happy aging, you can:
Austin, E. N., Johnston, Y. A., & Morgan, L. L. (2006). Community gardening in a senior center: A therapeutic intervention to improve the health of older adults. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 40(1), 48.
Scott, T. L., Masser, B. M., & Pachana, N. A. (2020). Positive aging benefits of home and community gardening activities: Older adults report enhanced self-esteem, productive endeavors, social engagement and exercise. SAGE Open Medicine, 8.
Weerakoon, R., & Wehigaldeniya, D. (2021). The effect of home gardening towards the mental wellbeing of men and women during the COVID-19 pandemic. Asian Journal of Advances in Research, 869-876.