What Gardening Activities Are Good for Seniors with Dementia?

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Therapeutic Gardening Activities for Aging Adults with Dementia in Des Moines, IA

Gardening is often described as an ideal senior activity because it’s rewarding and physically active. This is true for seniors with dementia as well, but they might not be able to handle every aspect of gardening by themselves. Certain gardening activities are well suited to those who are living with cognitive issues. These gardening activities are all beneficial and safe for seniors who have dementia. 

Preparing Soil

Gently aerating soil and getting rid of any lumps or rocks can be a fun gardening activity. Expect it to be fairly messy and take a few hours, but it’s sure to give your senior loved one a workout and plenty of entertainment. In addition to basic tilling, your loved one can also dig holes to set the new plants in. To ensure this activity is safe, stick to smaller tools without sharp edges. Seniors with dementia can live at home safely and optimize their quality of life with the help of highly trained, experienced professional caregivers. If your senior loved one needs professional dementia care, Des Moines caregivers are available around the clock to provide the high-quality care he or she needs. Using the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, dementia caregivers can help your loved one stay mentally engaged and delay the progression of the disease.

Watering Plants

Once the garden is all set up, most daily tasks will focus on providing the plants with enough moisture. Carrying around a watering can is a great way to maintain strength, and the task of applying water to each plant increases coordination. Watering plants also has mental benefits because your loved one gets to enjoy nurturing and caring for growing things. To prevent overwatering the plants or straining your loved one, stick to smaller watering cans. 

Tending to Raised Beds

Seniors with physical limitations might not be able to get down on their hands and knees and garden in the dirt anymore. In these cases, raised beds may be a better option. Seniors can reach the beds while they remain seated, so it’s a gentler and easier activity. Another benefit of raised beds is that it’s difficult to overwater them, so forgetful seniors are less likely to end up killing their plants.  Older adults with dementia often need assistance with everyday activities so they can age in place in safety and comfort. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Applying Natural Pest Control

Pest control can be a calm, meditative task that involves gently inspecting each plant and lightly spritzing it with insecticide. Choose natural insecticides that are safe in the event of accidental ingestion. A couple of good options are a blend of diluted chili oil or a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. These solutions have compounds that repel garden pests while being safe if your loved one gets confused and drinks them. 

Harvesting Ripe Fruits & Vegetables

Weeding tends to be challenging because it requires paying attention to leaf shapes and remembering plant locations. Harvesting is a good alternative for seniors who like to sit and carefully pull out plants because the color cues of ripening fruits or vegetables can make them easy to spot. This task can even be done by seniors with severe dementia if it involves harvesting an entire area without leaving any plants behind.  If your loved one is living with dementia, having a trained professional caregiver close by can provide you and your family with much-needed peace of mind. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Des Moines families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438 to learn more about our customized care plans.


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