In this fast-changing world, everyone, including seniors who are already living under assisted living care, has a chance to make discoveries and challenge themselves to new opportunities every day. To make life more interesting, it’s vital that learning something new is an everyday process. Keeping your brain active is beneficial even into old age.
One exciting opportunity seniors can venture into to keep themselves active is gardening. This is one activity that even the youngsters have to take time to learn the ins and outs. Read more to learn how to make your gardening hobby a reality:
1. Choose Your Plants and Gardening Spot Wisely
It is highly recommended that you be patient and give yourself time to grow into gardening. The first way to do it is by choosing the right type of plants that will thrive in your garden naturally without much yard work. These plants are commonly referred to as native plants.
Secondly, know which kind of plants can survive in the available gardening spot that you have. Depending on the location of your home, the places that you consider doing your gardening may be shady. Take this into account and get all the necessary recommendations from your local garden experts, and you will be good to go.
2. Think Small
Many people think that the key to having a sense of fulfillment is being immediately successful at whatever they do. For seniors, however, more so, a beginner, it’s not a do-or-die affair. Like we mentioned earlier, give yourself time to grow into it.
The grounds may not be large enough to plant an expansive, beautiful garden. So, take pride in the small available space, as you might have on your balcony or porch. Pots and planters are a great place to start, especially in winter. Later on, as your plants and you grow into this new hobby, you can extend your net further by moving into the yard or flowerbed. The intention is to reap the mental and physical benefits of it.
3. Ensure Ease of Accessibility
The chosen gardening area should not have obstructions that may cause accidents and should be easy to maneuver no matter the physical limitations. Whether you use a cane or wheelchair, it should lead you through to the flowerbed without difficulty. Additionally, it’s crucial to make it less strenuous for seniors to do the gardening by raising the work area on which they desire to do their gardening.
If you can, have someone accompany you to the garden or check on you while you work. This precaution ensures your safety and gives your caretaker peace of mind that everything is running smoothly. If you can’t go out for any reason, please request your caregiver or family to help you make room for indoor gardening.
4. Get The Appropriate Gardening Tools
Like every other activity, special work tools are recommended to carry out the task efficiently. In this case, seniors are advised to look for more ergonomic tools that fit their hands, are lightweight and less straining, and sharp enough for the work. The gardening tools will become blunt with time, so check them frequently to keep them sharp, to prevent you from straining and getting the job done efficiently. The whole motive is to keep you enjoying this new venture with minimal stress to your joints.
5. Dress Appropriately
Besides the gardening tools, the kind of clothing you put on in the garden also matters. Ideally, you will need clothing that shields you from getting cuts, sunburns, slip-offs, etc. Some gardening attire includes lightweight and waterproof shoes or boots, gloves, a large brimmed hat, long-sleeved clothes, etc.
You can never be too safe, so do not get tired of investing in the proper clothing to shield you from various hazards. If ignored, some of those hazards can cause fatal injuries that will be much harder to treat. Additionally, don’t forget to apply sunscreen and bug spray to protect your skin.
6. Prepare Your Body for The Work
This activity may be new to many of you, but gardening is more like any other physical activity that you do. Therefore, you need to loosen your muscles before getting into the main job. Look for strength warm-up exercises that focus more on the joints; knees, wrists, and shoulders. Also, take breaks in between and walk around and stretch. All these are geared towards reducing the chances of injury or cramping after the job is done.
A water bottle is the best item to carry around when you’re indoors or outdoors. It’s easy to re-fill it and move on with your business wherever you are. On one of those sunny days, your body will need constant replenishment to prevent dehydration and replace lost fluids. So, it would be best to make it a habit to drink some water even when you don’t feel thirsty.
8. Observe All Body Safety Measures
Seniors need to take extra caution, especially in gardening, since their bodies are more fragile and need extra care. Like any other physical activity, seniors will need the go-ahead to continue. Alert your doctor about the type of gardening you need to get into before venturing into it.
They will advise you best on all the necessary precautions you need to take to prevent your body from injury. For example, you will know what weight you can handle, how to protect your back, the recommended breaks between the session, working posture, when to stop, etc.
Get all the necessary medical details from your doctor to ensure that you don’t gamble with your health at the expense of exercising. Be sure to observe your rest days and give your body a break to regain the lost strength and prevent fatigue.
9. Recruit Neighbors and Friends
I’m sure you’ve heard of a few of your neighbors or friends who want to find a new hobby, but they don’t know how to start. Learn, enjoy and grow together. Any activity gets easier and enjoyable when it’s team-involved.
Taking up a hobby with others also guarantees your safety in an emergency. You will also have accountability partners to make it fun and ensure that you don’t give up easily. If you have a caregiver, you can also ask them to lend a helping hand in the tasks you find difficult.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and explore different activities you consider fascinating. Besides, a green environment is also therapeutic for you, and when gardening is practiced safely, it’s a nice hobby that you can maintain for a long time.