If you or any of your loved ones are aging and you want to make the most out of it, you should definitely try gardening. A recent study of over 300 gardeners from Australia with ages ranging from 60-95 shows that it offers numerous positive benefits. The study even revealed that the bigger one’s garden is, the higher the benefits! To know more about how gardening can be such a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle choice, read on.
Australia’s population is aging. A 2017 study revealed that 15% of Australia’s population is composed of the elderly. This chunk is major. This is why the Australian government is all out in promoting positive aging. Positive aging happens when one reaches the age of 65 and older without having to suffer from cognitive decline and chronic illnesses. If you are aged 65 or older and you’re not sick and you still have a superb memory, then you can claim that you are positively aging. The more positive your relationship is with aging, the more positive your experiences will be. Gardening is said to help one successfully achieve positive aging.
Did you know that there are over 19 different gardening activities that you could do? This is the case regardless if you tend a home or community garden. Such activities include watering, tilling, wandering, reflecting, meditating, and tending to house-plants. The following are the superb benefits of gardening to aging individuals:
The study showed that aging individuals who participate in gardening have improved self-esteem. They have a better sense of self because they feel empowered and able to do the thing they love. Gardening improves self-esteem and allows aging individuals to have a strong sense of self. Having something to do and be occupied with help in strengthening one’s resolve to enjoy his or her day. It greatly helps in making one enjoy his own company and the company of others. The study revealed that aging individuals who garden view themselves in a very positive and empowered light. They are optimistic about life and see themselves as content, happy, and confident. Being in such a position solidly helps in maintaining one’s healthy self-esteem.
Gardening allows people to interact with each other. This is especially the case when it comes to aging people who are members of community gardens or gardening clubs. The more that they partake in such communal activities, the more that they get to interact and engage with different individuals. Social engagement is important to aging individuals because it increases their social capital. Aging people have more and more friends who pass on as years go by so their social capital significantly decreases through time. This is why social engagement with other people is important. Being involved in garden clubs and community gardens allow aging people to form new social connections. Their social lives get reinvigorated and refreshed every single time.
Improved Overall Feeling of Fulfillment
Aging people have quieter lives. They have limited responsibilities and they no longer live in the fast lane. Gardening proves to be highly beneficial because it allows aging people to still feel fulfilled and accomplished. Tending to a garden is not a heavily physical task but it involves commitment. When one is committed, one always has something to look forward to. When one has something to look forward to, one still gets to enjoy the luxury of having goals. Achieving goals and experiencing breakthroughs in a continuous manner is something that is deeply fulfilling to aging individuals. Gardening gives aging individuals something to look forward to. Every single growth and fruit makes them feel alive and accomplished. This is still very important to have even in one’s later season in life. And this is something that Homestyle Aged Care aims to provide to all its residents. You can check out their website to see the many programs they do to ensure that all elderlies under their care feel fulfilled and accomplished.
Gardening allows aging individuals to have a consistent form of exercise that is not restrictive and burdensome. It is light, relaxing, and no special amount of energy or force is needed. Gardening is a quiet and calming activity that is not upbeat and roaring. However gentle the activity is, it is very effective in giving an aging individual his or her daily dose of solid exercise. Continuous relaxed body movement is effective in aging individuals because they enjoy it and can consistently keep at it. It is something that they could do every day. Gardening also allows aging individuals to easily recover from stress and achieve a slower heart rate and lower blood pressure.
Calmer State of Mind
Gardening is a meditative activity. As it is something that one can easily do in a mindful manner, one seamlessly achieves a calmer state of mind through it. Gardening is supremely relaxing because it allows one to interact with nature. It allows one to be one with nature and under the sun. Any connection with nature is always restorative and relaxing. These are things that one can easily achieve through gardening. The good thing with this positive aging benefit of gardening is it won’t even require any kind of physical activity. Even staying in a garden by simply sitting still is fully restorative, calming, and beneficial.
Sage Open Medicine
Older Australia at a glance