Gardening is a wonderful hobby for seniors with dementia. The activity keeps older adults moving, soothes agitation, boosts mood, and enhances spatial orientation. To reap the benefits of gardening, seniors with dementia need to stay safe while outdoors. Here are a few ways to make gardening a safe activity for seniors with dementia.
Always Bring a Water Bottle
Seniors should spend time outdoors, as direct sunlight promotes vitamin D production and regulates sleep cycles. Excessive exposure to the sun leads to dehydration, and your loved one may not be able to communicate or comprehend feelings of thirst. To prevent your parent from becoming dehydrated, make sure he or she always has a water bottle nearby. If you haven’t seen your loved one take a sip in a while, remind him or her to drink.
Older adults who need help gardening should consider professional in-home care. Edmonton home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
Choose the Right Kind of Garden
Gardening should be a soothing, meditative experience for seniors with dementia. If they have to stoop or crouch, the activity may become more painful than pleasant. To ensure your loved one stays comfortable, opt for garden arrangements that won’t put too much stress on the joints. If you choose a raised planting bed, your loved one may be able to tend to the plants while sitting down. Vertical gardens are another good option. By growing vines and climbing plants on trellises and arches, your loved one can garden while standing rather than stooping.
Purchase Safe Tools
Many gardening tools have sharp edges that can do damage if used incorrectly. Before you and your loved one start a garden, buy senior-friendly tools he or she can use. Look for gardening tools with large, ergonomically-designed handles, which can make the activity easier for seniors with limited motor coordination. Also search for tools with blunt, rounded edges, rather than sharpened points.
Stay Safe in the Sun
Too much sun exposure can lead to sunburns and skin damage. Aging skin is particularly susceptible to harsh UV rays, so it’s important for your loved one to use sunscreen when outside. You may also want to buy your parent a wide-brimmed hat, which can keep the sun off the face.
Gardening is just one of the many tasks older adults may require assistance with. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly care. Edmonton Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Find a Place to Rest
Seniors with dementia tend to tire easily, so it’s important to have a place in the garden where they can rest. Benches, lawn chairs, and other outdoor seating options provide a place to rest. You can optimize your loved one’s comfort by adding a few seat cushions or pillows.
Consider Early Morning Gardening
The sun is strongest in the afternoon between the hours of noon and 4pm. Keep your loved one safe by avoiding peak sun hours. Instead, he or she should garden between the hours of 8am and 11am. Your loved one can still get some fresh air and sunshine, but he or she will be less likely to become dehydrated.
Dementia is a serious health issue that impacts a senior’s health, wellbeing, and independence. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Edmonton seniors can depend on. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at (780) 490-7337 today.