Gardening is a popular hobby for young and old, but it is a lot of hard work, too. When elderly adults struggle with physical limitations, they don’t get the chance to garden like they used to. As they become more dependent on family caregivers and home care assistance, it can he harder and harder for seniors to find hobbies that they can enjoy. That’s why container gardening may be the perfect thing for elderly adults.
But what is container gardening and why is it so good for seniors? Container gardening is basically growing all kinds of vegetables, herbs and flowers in containers like pots, buckets, baskets, table planters and window boxes. Because the containers are off the ground, this lets seniors reach the soil and plants easier. It’s easier to plant, weed and water, so they can still enjoy gardening without the strain. Family caregivers can help their aging relatives set up a container garden and reap the physical and emotional benefits.
Here are 5 tips on container gardening for elderly adults that family caregivers and senior care assistants should know.
1. Pick the Right Containers
Almost anything can become a good container for a plant, if it has good drainage. From inexpensive terracotta pots and plastic buckets to pretty glazed pots, half barrels, tubs and table-style raised beds, containers should meet the elderly person’s physical limitations.
2. Select the Best Location
Unlike traditional gardens, container gardens don’t have to be relegated to the corner of the yard. Containers can live on a sunny porch or patio, along the driveway or within a flower bed. The elderly person should be able to get to the containers easily, or with help from a family caregiver of home care aide.
3. Choose the Right Plants
There are many easy-to-grow plants that thrive in containers. Common vegetable choices include tomatoes, peppers, carrots, lettuce, onions, radishes, and eggplants. Popular herbs include basil, chives, thyme, parsley and fennel. Even fruit like strawberries, raspberries, watermelon and currants can be grown in a container.
4. Follow Senior Safety Rules
Elderly adults can spend a lot of time gardening, but they should not be overstressed. The hot sun can burn their skin and they can easily get dehydrated. Home care aides should ensure that the senior wears sunblock and a wide-brimmed hat to protect them. Plenty of water will prevent dehydration. If the elderly person seems heat-stressed, they should take a break.
5. Share the Hobby With Others
Gardening is ideal for spending time with family members and friends. Working together toward a common goal is a fine bonding experience and gives seniors and family members a chance to share with each other. Of course, sharing the harvest is the best part of gardening and the success will boost the elderly person’s self-esteem greatly.
Container gardening is a wonderful opportunity for an elderly relative to participate in a hobby despite their lack of mobility or strength. Family caregivers and home care aides can support the elderly person as they have fun with container gardening.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregivers in Willingboro, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.
Kelly C. McCabe is a founding partner and co-owner of TLC HomeCare Services.She and her business partner,Patti Maltese founded TLC HomeCare Services in March of 2009.In addition to management, marketing and sales, staffing and recruiting, Kelly holds her New Jersey producer’s license in Health and Life insurance and is also a New Jersey Certified Home Health Aide.Kelly is the proud mother of two daughters and is a resident of Moorestown, NJ.
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