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Gardening is something that can bring pleasure and great comfort to people of all ages and abilities, and older people living in residential care are no exception.
Whether they were keen gardeners or not earlier in life, connecting with the outdoors offers joyful activities which can distract, engage, and be a meaningful focus for both physical and social activity.
The benefits gardening for older people
Gardening can provide a fantastic opportunity for stimulation of all the senses. Enjoying some fresh air and a change of scenery can be enough in itself to boost a feeling of wellbeing , and the sights, sounds, and smell of a garden can all help motivate and engage.
Physical Benefits - The exercise and manual dexterity skills employed in gardening can help reduce boredom and anxiety, and improve sleep.
Cognitive Benefits - Helping to plan and organise the activity, and the accompanying decision-making provide opportunity for meaningful activity that can help keep the mind sharp, motivate, and form part of a daily routine to bring focus and purpose to the day.
Social Benefits - Gardening is a great social activity and provides fantastic stimulus for conversation and companionship.
Emotional Benefits - Something as simple as being outside and simply feeling the sunshine on your face, listening to bird-song or enjoying the flowers can help boost mood, while purposeful activity and social engagement can lead to improved feelings of well being and contentment.
Adapting Gardening Activities for older people
With a little careful management it is perfectly possible to adapt many gardening activities to involve everyone, whatever their disabilities.
Those who are physically able may enjoy, with support and regular breaks, the full range of gardening jobs from light digging and planting, to sweeping, pruning and weeding.
If mobility or eyesight is limited, gardening jobs can be broken down into smaller, less physically demanding tasks such as growing seeds or bulbs in pots, flower arranging or just simply being in the garden watching others do the work but still feeling involved.
Gardening with other people can be particularly rewarding, fostering and maintaining relationships not only through doing things together, but also through the talk that always seems to go alongside.
Enjoying our beautiful gardens here at Hoar Cross
Here at Hoar Cross, we make the most of our beautiful countryside location. With 3 acres of lovely, landscaped gardens there are plenty of easy to navigate pathways around the property to encourage everyone to enjoy the extensive lawns and flower beds that are a riot of colour in Spring and Summer.
It truly is a beautiful spot for a cup of tea, having a chat with friends, reading a book, enjoying a little quiet time or, of course doing a little gardening in our active gardening club!
Making the most of the moment
Enjoying a shared gardening task in the moment produces feelings - hopefully of pleasure, calmness and peace - that can linger long into the future. And this can have a significant effect on contentment and well being.
So why not get out the gardening gloves and give it a go!
Hoar Cross Care Home is an exclusive residential and nursing care home in a beautiful and tranquil countryside setting at Hoar Cross in Staffordshire. We provide a warm, supportive and stimulating environment for residents and their families where quality of life is paramount. We’d be delighted to show you round our facilities so, to arrange a personal guided tour, please just give us a call on 01283 575210.