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Alleviating Senior Stress Through Gardening

Stress can occur across a person’s lifespan. However, such emotions are especially prevalent among the elderly due to physical, mental, and emotional changes. Gardening offers ways for your senior loved one to reduce stress in a positive, proactive, and environmentally conscious manner. Redondo Beach senior care experts discuss a few ways this activity can lead to stress relief.

Physical Activity

Gardening gives your loved one the opportunity to participate in low-impact physical exercise. Repeated bending, lifting, digging, and kneeling all activate a variety of muscle groups. These leisurely movements also produce endorphins, hormones that trigger stress-reducing positive feelings.

Time Spent Outdoors

Fresh air, plants, trees, and natural outdoor elements have been proven to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone in the body. A study published in Landscape and Urban Planning in 2012 found people who lived in areas with the largest amounts of green space had lower cortisol levels. Even spending just 5 minutes outside can significantly reduce your loved one’s stress levels. 

Sweet Scents

The smells of jasmine, rose, lavender, and lilac can decrease stress and increase relaxation. Focusing the mind on pleasant scents rather than negative stressors can help your loved one reduce his or her stress levels through diversion of attention.

Accomplishment

Gardening can be a rewarding experience for seniors because it provides a sense of accomplishment, which helps increase their confidence, self-love, and feelings of satisfaction as they watch their gardens grow and bloom. This self-esteem boost can have a direct influence on the reduction of your loved one’s stress.

Meditative Effects

The benefits of gardening draw parallels to the advantages of meditation, such as moving slowly, breathing deeply, and focusing the mind on only one present task. Gardening can silence your loved one’s inner voice as the sounds of nature take over his or her mind, allowing for relaxation and stress alleviation.

Many of the effects of gardening can also help relieve stress for seniors who need Redondo Beach Alzheimer’s care. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease have high levels of cortisol in their bloodstreams, which can directly impact memory impairment. If your loved one has this condition, gardening can combat the stress and help slow cognitive decline.

In addition to stress relief, gardening can also provide exercise, mental stimulation, and healthy, fresh produce for your loved one. If your loved one needs help maintaining a garden or assistance with other daily activities, turn to Home Care Assistance. We offer part-time and live-in care in Redondo Beach, and our caregivers can provide social companionship and help with a wide variety of daily tasks. For more information on our elderly care services, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (310) 504-0506 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.