Gardening and Growing Together
This is a re-post from agingcare.com, and I hope it inspires you to get your hands a little dirtier 🙂
To grow a more meaningful and healthy connection with an elderly loved one, put on some rubber clogs and head out together to the garden.
At any age, gardening is one of the best activities we can do outdoors, several experts told AgingCare.com. It stimulates all of the senses; awakens our connection with nature and with each other; and rewards us with fresh flowers and juicy tomatoes. “It’s restorative, even if you have dementia,” says Dee McGuire, a horticultural therapist at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital in Baltimore.
Gardening is also an excellent way for aging bodies to get a moderate-intensity aerobic workout, shed calories and stay flexible, according to a Kansas State University study. That’s one reason why gardening remains popular with Americans well into their golden years. Indeed, about three-quarters of households age 55 or older participated in some form of lawn and garden activity in 2010, according to the National Gardening Association (NGA).
Still, there’s no question that bending, lifting, kneeling, squatting, weeding and pruning—not to mention dealing with sun, heat and bugs– all become more challenging as we grow older.
But there are ways to cope.