play_arrow

Growing and Gardening Together

To grow a more meaningful and healthy connection with an elderly loved one, put on some rubber clogs and head out together to the garden!

At any age, gardening is one of the best activities we can do outdoors.  It stimulates all of the senses; awakens our connection with nature and with each other; and rewards us with fresh flowers and juicy tomatoes. "It's restorative, even if you have dementia," says Dee McGuire, a horticultural therapist at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital in Baltimore.

Gardening is also an excellent way for aging bodies to get a moderate-intensity aerobic workout, shed calories and stay flexible, according to a Kansas State University study. That's one reason why gardening remains popular with Americans well into their golden years. Indeed, about three-quarters of households age 55 or older participated in some form of lawn and garden activity in 2010, according to the National Gardening Association (NGA).

Still, there's no question that bending, lifting, kneeling, squatting, weeding and pruning—not to mention dealing with sun, heat and bugs—all become more challenging as we grow older.

Pace Yourself

If you’ve taken a winter break from yard chores, start slowly and work your way into shape. “For several days before digging in, do some gentle range-of-motion stretching of arms, back and torso,” says Paula Kramer, an occupational therapist at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Once you begin working in your yard, change your position and activity every 20 to 30 minutes, then rest for 10 minutes. “That way,” she says, “you won’t be too sore to go back to your garden the next day.” Kramer also recommends using ergonomic tools that are easier to grip. And if you have problems with arthritis in your hands, soak them in warm water before putting on gloves.

Raise the Ground

For people who prefer to sit while exercising their green thumbs, a rectangular raised planting bed with an adjacent chair or board for seating may be the best solution. The height can vary, but the width should be about an arm’s length “so you have easy access to the plants and won’t lose your balance while reaching across the bed,” says Cassidy. Raised beds can be built with a wide range of materials, from treated wood and secondhand lumber to concrete blocks and even piles of dirt. If you’re unable to do the construction yourself, there are several commercial outlets for raised beds, some of which can be used indoors or outdoors.

Get Vertical

If you cultivate vines on trellises, outside walls or along fences, you can work standing up, and that will reduce pressure on your lower back and knees. “Vertical gardens can be great space savers on decks and porches,” says Cassidy. And native vines such as trumpet creeper and fox grape also can attract wildlife. The height of such gardens should not extend beyond arm’s reach, especially if you are growing fruits or vegetables that require harvesting.

Go Native

Reassess the types of plants you’re cultivating. Reducing yard work, says Cassidy, “can be as simple as not growing high-maintenance plants such as roses and instead opting for native species.” Plants that are native to the region where a gardener lives require less upkeep and tend to be drought resistant, which can also mean less work. “Water and hoses are heavy,” says Cassidy, “so I recommend cultivating species that, once established, will take care of themselves.” Natives also entice birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects to a property by providing appropriate foods and places to raise young.

Think Small

You don’t need a large yard to gain the mental and physical satisfaction of cultivating plants and viewing nature—you just need to maintain a sense of proportion. If you live in an apartment, for example, you can use containers to grow herbs and native species that will attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators. With the right choices, you could even have fall color and berries growing on your balcony or deck. But, says Cassidy, “Stay away from plants that will grow too large or that won’t thrive in shady spaces if you have a covered porch.”

Gardening on any scale can provide a natural motivation to get up and go. “For one thing, you know there are plants you’ve got to go out and water and weed to keep [them] alive,” says Candice Shoemaker, head of Kansas State University’s Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources. In a recent study, she and her students found that gardening not only improves strength and mobility, it also provides seniors with self-esteem and helps reduce stress. “If we get the message out there that older adults can get health benefits from gardening, they’ll realize that they don’t have to walk around the mall to get exercise.” 

CareOne Senior Care Caregivers enjoy being active with our clients!

5 Reasons to Use Home Care

Home Care Services in Northville MI: When an elderly relative becomes incapable of living alone without help from others, many families believe that they can offer all the care the person needs without outside help.

Is it Fibromyalgia?

Elder Care in Novi MI: Fibromyalgia is a disorder than can affect people of any age, including older adults. It is a very common condition that affects the bones and muscles.

What Are High-touch Surfaces?

Elder Care in Livonia MI: There’s a lot of talk about paying close attention to high-touch surfaces. But what are those and how can you deal with this in your senior’s home?

Meet Desiree

Home Care in Novi MI: Desiree is the proud Daughter of agency owners Carrie Akin and Tim Seipke. Desiree is an essential part of the CareOne Senior Care Office Team.

CareOne is Proactive in Practices

Home Care in Novi MI: CareOne Senior Care continues to operate under standard operating procedures to protect our clients throughout the entire year. We do not allow our staff who may have a common cold or flu to interact with our Seniors while sick.

Supporting Senior's Nutritional Health

Home Care in Novi MI: Many seniors face inadequate nutrition. The effects of being undernourished or malnourished can be dangerous, so it is important to recognize signs of nutritional issues in aging loved ones.

Home Remedies for Dad’s Knee Pain

Home Care in Plymouth MI: Knee pain can occur in older adults for a variety of reasons. They may suffer a strain or sprain due to a fall or overexertion. Or, they could have knee pain from arthritis.

Coping with the Time Change

Home Care in Livonia MI: Recently, daylight savings time officially ended again as we turned our clocks back one hour on Sunday, November 3rd, making sunrise and sunset times an hour earlier.

How to Talk to a Senior About Caregiver Burnout

Caregiver in Plymouth MI: When you’re the primary family caregiver for an older adult, you may eventually suffer from caregiver burnout. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, tired, and frustrated by the responsibilities of being a caregiver.

Advice for Seniors Just Diagnosed with Diabetes

Home Care Services in West Bloomfield MI: A new diagnosis of diabetes can be overwhelming. There’s so much to learn about the disease itself and how to proceed. Both the senior with the disease and their family caregivers have a big job ahead of them.

3 Preconditions to Act on Fast

Caregiver in Birmingham MI: Sometimes being told your older family member has a health condition can be seen as a positive instead of a negative. For example, learning they have a precondition gives them a chance to make changes.

Is Frailty a Part of Aging?

Home Care in Novi MI: Frailty is typically defined as getting slower, losing strength, weight loss, and not having as much strength as a person did when they were younger. Most people assume that getting frail is a natural part of aging.

July Is International Hepatitis Awareness Month

Preventative healthcare is important for seniors - many diseases are more likely to form as people age, and typically the most effective treatments are the ones that start early on in an illness' development. While many of these processes have been well known for years -

Living Alone with Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Many people with Alzheimer's continue to live successfully on their own during the early stage of the disease. Making simple adjustments, taking safety precautions and having the support of others can make things easier.

Creating a Care Partnership

Parkinson's disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects 1 in 100 people over age 60. While the average age at onset is 60, people have been diagnosed as young as 18. Sharing in your loved one's journey with Parkinson's disease....

CareOne Senior Care Receives 2017 Best of Home Care-Provider of Choice Award

Southeast Michigan – CareOne Senior Care announced today that it has received the 2017 Best of Home Care – Provider of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse. The Provider of Choice Award is granted only to the top-ranking home care providers, based on client satisfaction scores gathered by Home Care Pulse, an independent satisfaction research firm for home care. CareOne Senior Care is now ranked among a select few

Hospital Discharge Planning: A Guide for Families and Caregivers

Being Discharged home after a hospitalization or a stay in a rehab center can be very confusing. At a time that a loved one may be adjusting to a new diagnosis or recovering from an injury, illness or surgery, transitioning home can be scary and overwhelming to both the patient and the family caregiver(s).

July is UV Safety Awareness Month

Summer has arrived and while the sun is shining bright it's a golden time to highlight July as UV Safety Awareness Month! We all love to take in those warm summer rays, but everyone must remember

Elderly Summer Precautions: Senior Care Tips

The heat of summer is here and it is an important time to review some vital safety tips for seniors. Elderly persons are more prone to the effects of heat and at greater risk for dehydration. According to the CDC, elderly......

It Pays to Plan Ahead: Long Term Care Insurance

It Pays to Plan Ahead: Long-Term Care Insurance They don’t call it the grey tide for nothing! Baby boomers are about to make up the largest senior population the world has ever seen, and if plans aren’t made now, getting old is going to be an extremely costly endeavor.

Understanding Dementia

Your memory often changes as you grow older. Some people may recognize changes in themselves before anyone else notices. Other times, friends and family will be the first to observe changes in memory, behavior or abilities. It may be hard to know the difference between age-related changes

Put a Spring in your Step!

Spring is an ideal time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, smell the flowers and go for a walk!  Walking is also an opportunity for people of all ages to increase activity and improve health.   Fitting a simple 35-minute walk into...

May is National Stroke Awareness Month

May is National Stoke Awareness Month in the United States of America. Close to 800,000 strokes occur in the United States alone every year. Because of the high rate of strokes in this country, Stroke Awareness Month was designed to provide...

May is ALS Awareness Month

CareOne Senior Care, knows, first hand, the challenges of living with and caring for a loved one that has been diagnosed with ALS.  Our personal experience as a family in finding and providing exceptional care to our loving Mother, who...
248-255-4456