Gardening Tips for Seniors

An older couple is gardening together.

Gardening is a popular pastime for seniors; not only is building a beautiful garden something to work towards, but it also doesn’t require an extreme amount of physical activity and it can be extremely relaxing. Gardening is great for people of all ages, however, seniors benefit the most from gardening as it is something that they don’t have to learn and seniors with physical limitations can partake in this entertaining activity.

If you are a senior that is interested in gardening, this post will give you some easy and helpful gardening tips to keep in mind as you begin. 

How to Garden as a Senior

Gardening can be done on small or large properties, and seniors can grow anything from gorgeous flower beds to various kinds of fruits and vegetables. Gardening is a popular activity for seniors, so much so, a retirement community in PA promotes gardening for their residents in the spring and summer months as a way to get outdoors and be entertained. 

Whether you are a senior that lives at home or in a retirement gardening community, below are some helpful tips to help you as you begin gardening.

Wear the Right Kind of Gear and Clothing

This is a seemingly obvious thing to do as you garden, however, some seniors don’t know the right kind protective gear and clothing to wear. Seniors need to protect themselves from sunlight and heat as well as any injuries that they could endure while gardening. Some protective gear for seniors to consider include:

  • Light-weight long sleeves and long pants. Seniors should cover their skin so they don’t get sunburn but should also make sure not to wear clothing that will make them overheat. 
  • Gloves. In addition to wearing gloves to keep their hands clean, seniors need to wear gloves to protect their hands. Seniors may not move their hands the way that they used to be able to which presents the risk of them hurting themselves with their gardening tools. 
  • Hats. Seniors should wear hats to protect themselves from too much sun exposure.
  • Wear sturdy shoes. It’s important that seniors don’t lose their footing while gardening since they are getting up and down frequently.
  • Let people know where you are if you are in an allotment, or have a mobile phone or personal alarm system nearby in case of an emergency.
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Work in the Early Morning or Early Evening

Similar to wearing certain protective gear to protect themselves from too much sun, seniors should make it a point to garden in the early morning and early evening when the sun isn’t extremely strong. Seniors are at a higher risk of sunburn, sun poisoning, heat strokes, heat exhaustion, and dehydration so they should do all that they can to avoid ample amounts of sunlight.

It’s also important to note that no matter the time of day that a senior is gardening if he or she is exposed to some kind of sunlight, he or she should drink extra water to avoid dehydration. 

Make Sure to Move Comfortably

Gardening doesn’t require extreme physical capabilities, however, it does require a senior to move around and stay active. As a senior is moving around in the garden, it’s important that the senior moves in a way that is comfortable to avoid injury. Some tips for seniors to move around while gardening include:

  • Bend at your knees and hips to avoid back injury
  • Don’t lift things that are too heavy; instead, ask for assistance or use some sort of cart
  • Don’t rest on your knees too long and be sure to switch positions often
  • Take breaks to get up and walk around so that your joints don’t get stiff

Additionally, it’s a good idea for seniors to work on some sort of mat or soft surface that will be easier on the knees and joints.

Start Your Garden Today

As the spring and summer months are upon us, starting your garden today is a great way to pass your time and stay entertained. Before starting your gardening, think about what you want to grow. Do you want to grow a certain kind of flower? Or perhaps strawberries and watermelon? No matter what you decide to grow, use these tips to get started and make sure to do proper research to ensure that your garden is as great as it can be. 

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