Gardening is a favorite pastime for many, and is a great way to get outside and enjoy spring and summer months. Part physical activity, part mental stimulation, many find it a calming, peaceful activity that is excellent for overall well-being, self-esteem and mental health. Not only enjoyable at the time, gardening brings great rewards in the form of new life, bright colors and beautiful flowers.
Working in a garden is also very good for seniors, and has a lot of direct benefits. Gardening has been known to decrease stress levels, and encourage a sense of calm. Enjoying time in nature is often associated with positive feelings, and horticultural therapy is promoted more and more for its ability to provide stress relief, fight fatigue, improve mental wellbeing, reduce anxiety and tension and increase vitamin D levels. This in turn can have a positive impact on physical health such as promoting immune systems and lowering blood pressure (which can reduce the risk of heart disease).
Being in gardens or green spaces can also be enriching for the senses. The bright colors and sweet smells stimulate sensory reactions, and help keep brains healthy. In fact, gardening has been shown to help protect against types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease by encouraging healthy, active, brain activity.
Seeing plants grow and thrive over time can also be extremely rewarding. Often older individuals who do not work find themselves looking for a sense of purpose, and gardening can offer an outlet. The plants need care, love, and attention, and watching over them and their growth progress can provide a level of purpose to their lives, and instill a feeling of accomplishment. Whether it's planting flowers in garden beds, or creating your own backyard vegetable garden, nurturing plants and watching them grow is a wonderful, rewarding pastime.
We absolutely love gardening at Pacifica Senior Living. Many of our communities participate in spring garden parties where they arrange flowers, plant large planters, or work in greenhouses. Our residents are getting involved in many ways to help bring a little greenery and color to their community courtyards and outdoor spaces.
Residents love to enjoy our large community gardens, planting veggies in communal vegetable patches, finding friends and social interaction at gardening groups, planting their own garden on balconies and patios, or arranging flowers and potting planters together.
So many of our communities enjoy gardening activities, and it has become a favorite pastime for many residents. No matter your physical abilities, getting out and spending time in nature, sunlight, or amongst flowers and plants can be a great way to add a little joy to your day. The benefits of gardening are many, and spending time in nature is especially great for older adults.
Come out and visit your local community, stroll the gardens, or relax in one of the courtyards to see for yourself the positive difference spending time in nature can bring