Therapeutic Gardening For Seniors, Health Benefits

benefits of therapeutic gardening for seniors

Therapeutic Gardening for Seniors is an effective therapy for seniors in assisted living. It is a form of horticulture therapy that can help alleviate stress and enhance the mood of the resident. Planting, watering, and weeding in a garden can help promote physical and mental well-being among seniors.

PowerPACPlus’s Summary

  • Benefits of therapeutic gardening for seniors. Reduces stress. Horticultural therapy is known to have great effects on our mood and can reduce stress.
  • Get the right tools.
  • Sensory gardens Sensory gardens are an excellent way to stimulate the natural aging process of our residents in a positive way.
  • Through voluntary, robust activities within a sensory garden, residents can maintain their independence and stay physically active while reducing stress.
  • The flexibility of sensory gardens provides a sense of relaxation and reduces joint pain from physical activities.

Overview of therapeutic gardening 

Therapeutic gardening is a form of horticulture that has been used to help people in assisted living and memory care facilities for many years. It can be used to enhance activity, and give a sense of purpose.

Gardens give an outdoor environment with smells and sights that can evoke memories. Gardening activities such as weeding and planting can provide useful exercise while also combating depression, anxiety, and feelings of isolation. It also helps with aging by providing relief from pain, increasing mobility, and providing stimulation for the senses.

The garden gives an opportunity for social interaction which can help reduce any feelings of loneliness among residents. In addition, therapeutic gardening offers a sense of accomplishment which can improve cognitive function by aiding in the formation of new memories.

Overall, therapeutic gardening is a useful tool that provides physical activity, relieves stress, reduces loneliness in those living with memory impairment or dementia in assisted living facilities.

Benefits of therapeutic gardening for seniors

Reduces stress

Horticultural therapy is known to have great effects on our mood and can reduce stress. This is because of the harmless bacteria that live in the soil. This bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae, increases levels of serotonin in the brain, which controls and improves cognitive function and mood. The increased functionality of the mind is one of the most invaluable benefits of getting your hands dirty in the garden.

Improves socialization

Gardening offers a fun way to encourage socialization with your local community. A beautified garden can encourage residents to spend more time outdoors and inspire them to come together and help build more beautiful gardens. Sharing a garden can promote socialization, which is especially important for older adults who experience social isolation. The plethora of benefits to the lives of our seniors and community is one of the top reasons we urge them to get into gardening.

Promotes healthy eating

Planting fruits and vegetables not only benefits seniors, but it’s also a great way to stay healthy. Having your own garden offers the opportunity to avoid store-bought food that may have had pesticides sprayed on it. Horticultural therapy also provides them with many varied meals that are heart-healthy, diabetic-friendly, and vegetarian. 

benefits of therapeutic gardening for seniors

How to make therapeutic gardening easier for seniors?

  1. Get the right tools. If you’re planting flowers, fruit, or vegetables that need to be in a container, opt for plastic over glass or ceramic so they won’t break. Make sure your loved one has gloves and other supplies they will need to take care of the plants. If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, make sure they don’t have sharp gardening tools as they could accidentally injure themselves.
  2. Adjust the height to make it easier. Since some seniors have trouble kneeling or bending down to tend to the yard, consider adapting it to their needs. Raised bed gardens can allow seniors to work at a level they are comfortable with. Some raised bed gardens may also offer built-in seating where seniors can relax, rest, and socialize. You can also allow them to work and care while seated. If your loved one prefers to kneel and get their hands dirty, kneeling stools can help.
  3. Make sure the plants are not poisonous. If your loved one has a form of dementia like Alzheimer’s, they may try to eat the plants, especially if herbs are mixed with fruits and vegetables in the garden. To protect your loved ones, try not to plant poisonous plant forms.

Types of Therapeutic Gardens for Seniors

Container gardening

Container gardening is a form of horticulture that can help to enhance the lives of our seniors. 

Horticulture therapy programs have been developed to use working in a garden as a way to improve mental health. There are also “voluntary” therapy programs where seniors can take part in activities like container gardening and get exercise while doing it.

This type of activity helps to stimulate the minds of our residents, as well as providing them with the opportunity to appreciate nature’s beauty and smell the fragrances of flowers and other plants.

It is also beneficial in helping our elderly gardener stay active, engaged, and connected with their environment. Container gardening can truly enhance the lives of our senior citizens by providing them with an enjoyable activity that has many beneficial effects on their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.

Raised bed gardens 

Raised bed gardens give a unique opportunity for our residents to experience the natural aging process in a positive way.

It gives them the flexibility to voluntarily wander and prune their own garden beds while having an enjoyable sensory experience. Not only does it give them the independence to make new friends and relax, but it also provides a sense of robustness to their lives.

The raised bed gardens help reduce stress levels and allow residents to take ownership of their living community, which can have a positive effect on the overall well-being of our residents.

Sensory gardens 

Sensory gardens are an excellent way to stimulate the natural aging process of our residents in a positive way. Through voluntary, robust activities within a sensory garden, residents can maintain their independence and stay physically active while reducing stress.

The flexibility of sensory gardens provides a sense of relaxation and reduces joint pain from physical activities. Quality of life for our residents is increased due to the need for less reliance on medications as well as providing an opportunity for activity in a relaxed atmosphere.

Sensory gardens provide an excellent way of positively impacting the lives of our residents and helping them stay healthy and independent throughout their aging process.

Wheelchair accessible gardens

Wheelchair accessible gardens are a great way to reduce physical limitations and help cultivate a sense of self-esteem.

These gardens allow family members to take advantage of outdoor space and expand their attention span, while also relieving natural pain with the calming effects of cortisol. The dedication required to reserve the garden takes ongoing attention and care, but the rewards you can reap from this experience are worth it.

Not only does it serve as a physical distraction from stressful thoughts, but it can also act as an emotional pain reliever. The coordination needed between textures, colors and plants is an important part of the process that shouldn’t be overlooked. With enough dedication and hard work, wheelchair accessible gardens can bring joy to many who need less physically demanding activities or those that want to enjoy nature without leaving home.


There are a number of habits that can help to lower the risk of dementia. Regular exercise is one important habit to develop, as it helps to keep the brain active and reduces the risk of developing dementia.

Eating a balanced diet, avoiding smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption are all important lifestyle habits that can help to reduce the risk of dementia.

Additionally, engaging in activities such as learning new skills or reading can help stimulate the mind and also reduce the chances of developing dementia.

Taking steps to reduce stress levels, such as through meditation or mindfulness practices, is another key habit to adopt.

Finally, staying socially connected with friends and family members can also help prevent dementia by stimulating mental activity and providing emotional support. By adopting these habits into our daily lives, we can take positive steps towards reducing the risk of developing dementia

Turmeric is a natural herb that is known to be beneficial for those suffering from dementia. It contains curcumin, which is believed to have properties that can help reduce inflammation and slow down the progression of certain diseases.

Studies have shown that taking turmeric as a supplement can improve cognitive function in people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as increase focus and concentration. Additionally, it has been found to help with mood swings, anxiety, and depression related to dementia.

Turmeric is also thought to protect against cell damage caused by free radicals, making it a good choice for those looking for natural ways to treat dementia. However, it’s important to speak with your doctor before taking any supplements or herbs for your health condition.

Thank you for taking the time to read our Powerpacplus article. We sincerely hope this has answered your questions. In the comments section, we would appreciate it if you could share your thoughts on the subject.

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