This week is National Gardening Week and this presents a fantastic opportunity to get green fingered and embrace the great outdoors. You can expect the inevitable April showers this month but with sunny days too, when you can turn your attention to the lawn.
National Gardening Week (April 27th – May 3rd) was launched nine years ago by the Royal Horticultural Society and is the nation’s biggest celebration of gardening and raises awareness of the difference that gardens and gardening can make to the lives of everyone in the UK. This year is all about championing the role of plants, due to their positive impact on mental and physical health.
The health benefits of gardens and gardening are broad and far ranging. Gardening can play an active role in promoting good health and preventing ill-health and could have long-term implications for reducing healthcare costs.
A recent OnePoll Survey commissioned by the RHS showed that 52% of people in Britain have experienced feeling alone but more than half of adults enjoy being surrounded by greenery and a further 53% said it boosts their mood.
In these unsettling and challenging times, it’s more important than ever before to find simple and positive ways for us all to relax and feel happy. The gardens at The Beeches have become a favourite pass time for residents, as well as providing health and wellbeing benefits.
The benefits of gardening for seniors include:
Exercise and burning calories
Pulling weeds, reaching for various plants and tools, and twisting and bending as you plant will work new muscles in your body and help with strength, stamina, and flexibility and in turn help you to burn up to 400 calories per hour.
Decreases risk of dementia
Physical demands of gardening and critical thinking skills regarding what to plant and how to take care of it reduces the chances of Alzheimer’s.
Gardening is one of the most potent stress-relieving activities there is and leads to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than other activities. It also raises serotonin; a calming chemical in the brain that puts you in a good mood.
While you don’t want to overdo it, a few hours of exposure to sunshine will give you more vitamin D than your nightly glass of milk.
At The Beeches, we encourage residents to spend time outdoors, as it’s proven to improve sleeping and eating patterns, reduce dependency on others and can help residents cope more effectively with some of their symptoms.
Our residents have been enjoying gardening, sitting in the sunshine and playing outdoor games over the past few weeks. Gardening is one of a wide range of activities on offer at The Beeches and is popular with lots of our residents.
Whatever you decide to do this week, it’s a great excuse to spend some time outside; why not look at the official website for inspiration?
For more information on The Beeches, a specialist dementia residential care home, please call 01359 230773 or visit our contact page.
In the meantime, if you or a loved one would like to find out more about the care on offer at The Beeches, visit our page here.