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Is Gardening Beneficial for Seniors with Dementia?

            As spring transitions to summer, countless people are taking advantage of gardening in their homes. Even though not everybody has a green thumb, gardening is beneficial, especially for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease. Follow below to learn why gardening is helpful for people with Alzheimer’s or related forms of Dementia.

Gardening Benefits

Gardening can improve Alzheimer’s or a similar type of Dementia without medications. Digging in the soil can reduce nervousness and fretfulness for seniors. Additionally, maintaining and planting new flowers can increase a sense of independence and boost confidence for older adults. Gardening can reduce pain and reliance on pain medications for many people. Seniors with Dementia will enhance their memory and ability to have happier days.

Gardening Essentials

As a caregiver for somebody with Alzheimer’s disease, you need to create an outdoor space that helps them enjoy time with you. Below are a few ideas to help get started and stay on track:

  1. Preparation: Preparing where to start gardening and what plants to use is vital. It will help creativity, exercise, and more. Caregivers and senior adults can choose what flowers, herbs, and vegetables to use to grow over time.
  • Garden containers and beds: Sometimes, there are moments when there is no place to plant a garden in the ground. Or, a senior who has mobility challenges may be restricted from growing flowers they want. Containers or raised beds take less space and provide a safer way to care for a garden, and it is a fun way to take care of plants.
  • Circular Gardens: A safety concern that comes up when considering people facing Alzheimer’s or a related type of Dementia is a patient wandering off, and creating a garden path that makes a circle can lower the wandering. Also, keep the senior gardens far away from exits or gates.
  • A Comfortable Seat: Gardening can be difficult, so it is crucial to have a place to rest. A comfortable bench or chair in the garden can be very beneficial.
  • Be Mindful: Sharing responsibility for a few garden tasks with a senior can help them. Being mindful that some functions may be too complex for seniors can help them not overexert themselves.

Following these helpful tips can help your loved one feel appreciated and have a healthier lifestyle. Gardening is a great way to bond with them as well.

In Summary

Finding an activity for an adult with Alzheimer’s can be difficult. Yet, one of the best things they can do to improve their health is gardening. Gardening is one of the activities done at Home Instead. At Home Instead Senior Care, we provide gardening activities for your loved one. For more information on our activities in Wilmington, NC, please call us at (910) 342-0455 or visit our website here.

Coping with Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a terminal illness that shakes families to their core, leaving people wondering how to help their loved ones. This overwhelming diagnosis might make you feel hopeless at first, but the truth is, there are ways to make day-to-day life less of a struggle with senior care. To learn more about how people cope with the disease, read this blog post.

Symptoms

Those who have Alzheimer’s disease exhibit a number of symptoms including: a shorter attention span, trouble recognizing objects they once knew, making choices, and communicating with others. Alzheimer’s sufferers also tend to lose their coordination and physical strength. All these symptoms make it challenging for the sufferer to navigate their own homes, which is why preventative measures must be taken. The disease cripples people’s confidence in themselves, but there are many ways to ease the burden on a daily basis.

Safety First

If your loved one has a caregiver, they can perform safety checks around the home to ensure patients’ safety among their surroundings. There are several general safety precautions that you can take to keep the home ready for anything. First, you should always have emergency contact information handy in each room, so you can be prepared for anything. Because many Alzheimer’s patients wander, another important safety suggestion is to install enough lighting throughout the house to ensure they can navigate safely. Rugs, extension cords, and clutter may pose a dangerous tripping risk, so the clearer the hallways, the better. Another important thing to consider is using childproof locking systems on cabinets that hold medicines and other toxic substances. Handrails throughout the home will allow your loved one the freedom they need to move with ease.

Recreational Activities

Physical activity can improve the overall health of every Alzheimer’s patient, as it helps prevent high blood pressure, strokes, and diabetes. Exercise can also boost patients’ moods, which will help them live with less worry and pent up stress. Depending on the stage of their condition, people with Alzheimer’s can participate in a number of activities like running, swimming and gardening, with some minor accommodations. Walking and other low impact routines are good for patients who have a more developed disease.

Reading and making art are more ways to help Alzheimer’s patients challenge themselves and stimulate their minds. Artistic activities can lower anxiety levels in individuals experiencing dementia and Alzheimer’s, and may also stimulate their memory. Self-expression can help boost people’s moods and confidence.

Conclusion

At first, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be devastating, but with some research and extra help, you can help make your loved ones’ life much easier and safer. Those in need of professional Alzheimer’s care can count on us at Home Instead Senior Care, where we work hard to provide our patients with quality of life.