A senior adult daycare center would benefit from a gardening program for its clients. These centers are for seniors and often provide transportation and social activities and support. The adult senior daycare centers provide arts and crafts, musical entertainment, exercise, games, outings, nutritious meals, and snacks. Some provide counseling and minor health services, too.
Gardening provides good exercise and gives you a sense of improving the environment around you. It can be a productive activity for the seniors and their employees at the senior adult daycare center. They can grow flowers, vegetables, and herbs to use for meal preparation and beautify the property.
Here are a few ways senior day centers can benefit from a gardening program.
A Fun and Active Way to Be Outside
About 70% of seniors that turn 65 will need long-term care. The good thing is that gardening is a good form of exercise for the body and mind that seniors can enjoy with their friends in their daily care center. Seniors at the daycare center can help plant, water, weed, and care for the garden or gardens. Some members may be experienced gardeners that can help you design and maintain the gardens.
You can even raise indoor potted plants in the colder weather. Gardening promotes physical activity through walking, bending, and squatting. When your members have limits, discuss a garden that will be easy for them to maintain. It has been shown that gardening reduces stress and improves your mood. It gives members a chance to socialize and work on a project with others.
Improves Mental Health
The sunlight and exercise provided by gardening contribute to improved mental health. When you grow fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, you improve your diet, too. At the center, you can prepare meals or snacks using some of the plants you grow. Other members can help prepare snacks and meals using what you grow at the daycare center. It can help seniors develop problem-solving skills, coordination, and concentration. You will learn new techniques and ways to garden and develop a hobby. Most importantly, it will provide a connection with other people and give seniors a sense of belonging.
Reduces The Risk of Dementia
Gardening can reduce the risk of dementia, according to medical professionals, because it provides exercise and interest that requires using the body and the mind. Exercise increases brain volume according to studies of those with dementia. One study followed seniors in their 60’s and 70’s that gardened for several years. The study concluded that they had a 36 – 47% less risk of developing dementia.
Spending three to six hours growing flowers and vegetables each week reduced depression in seniors as well. Gardening is even used as a therapy to help troubled teens. Since approximately 52% of daycare clients have some sort of cognitive impairment, gardening can help seniors suffering from depression and developing dementia reduce their symptoms and even help them as they age.
Therapeutic and Stress Relieving
Walking in a garden can reduce stress and improve your moods. Working in a garden, watering, weeding, and caring for plants provides exercise and learning to concentrate. Reducing stress helps with stress-related illnesses. Some studies have found that contact with certain bacteria in the soil and exercise improve your mood because it triggers serotonin, a chemical in the brain. It helps with mobility and reduces pain because it involves a workout. Raised gardens or potted plants may be a safer way of gardening for seniors. They should dress appropriately and wear a hat outside in the sun. An area for them to sit and rest should be available as well.
Seniors should engage in 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week if they are in good health, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They recommend this amount of exercise for those aged 18-64. Good thing gardening provides good exercise and burns calories. Those that are not avid gardeners can grow plants from garden centers and help with the maintenance of the garden at the daycare center. It increases Vitamin D because of working out in the sun and has many health benefits. Overall, it is a beneficial program to include a senior daycare center.
There are many reasons why a gardening program at a senior daycare facility would be a good idea. It is eco-friendly and promotes green living programs. Most importantly, it provides both physical and mental benefits for seniors who need an opportunity to be around others their age in an engaged environment.