Health Benefits of Gardening for Seniors

This week is National Gardening Week and to mark the occasion, we’re embracing the great outdoors and showing our garden some extra love.

National Gardening Week, which runs from Monday 17th April to Sunday 3rd May is the nation’s biggest celebration of gardening and raises awareness of the difference that gardens and gardening can make to the lives of everyone in the UK.

The annual celebration launches by Royal Horticultural Society is all about championing the role of plants, due to their positive impact on mental and physical health.

Gardening can be a fantastically rewarding activity for older people, with numerous health and social benefits.

A recent OnePoll Survey commissioned by the RHS showed that 52% of people in Britain have experienced feeling alone but more than half of adults enjoy being surrounded by greenery and a further 53% said it boosts their mood.

In these unsettling and challenging times, it’s more important than ever before to find simple and positive ways for us all to relax and feel happy. The gardens at Portland Nursing Home have become a favourite pass time for residents, as well as providing powerful benefits for the body and mind.

There are various ways that gardening can benefit seniors and our ageing loved ones.

Stress-reducing

Gardening is known to raise serotonin; a calming chemical in the brain that enhances your mood which in turn leads to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than other activities.

Exercise and burning calories

Pulling weeds, reaching for various plants and tools, and twisting and bending as you plant will work new muscles in your body and help with strength, stamina, and flexibility.

Mental Health

Having regular contact with nature can have a long-lasting effect on symptoms of depression and anxiety. Gardening can also help you think more clearly and improve your attention span.

Decreases risk of dementia

The physical demands of gardening and critical thinking skills regarding what to plant and how to take care of it reduces the chances of Alzheimer’s.

Over the last few weeks with the endless amount of sunny afternoons, At Portland Nursing Home, we’ve been encouraging our residents to spend time outdoors wherever possible. This has proven to be very popular choice amongst our residents and even a little sun exposure has done wonders for our “feel-good” hormone, as well as providing a great source of vitamin D.

The Royal Horticultural Society have some useful resource on their website if you are looking for some inspiration to get out and engage with nature this week.

For more information on Portland Nursing Home, a specialist care home, please call 01298 23040 or visit our contact page.

In the meantime, if you or a loved one would like to find out more about the care on offer at Portland Nursing Home, visit our page here.

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