The Benefits of Gardening for Seniors

Featured blog post image showing Methodist Home staff Anny during a gardening session with a few Garden Club members

Gardening is a therapeutic activity that offers numerous benefits for seniors, especially patients during a short term rehab stay at a skilled nursing facility or long term residents of a nursing home.

The Garden Club at the Methodist Home is a popular program offered by our Recreation Services department. Spending time outdoors of any kind promotes healthy aging and contributes to overall well-being, but gardening also offers numerous other benefits.

Physical Benefits of Gardening

Engaging in gardening activities provides seniors with valuable physical exercise. Whether it’s planting, weeding, or watering, these tasks require movement and effort, helping to improve flexibility, strength, and mobility.

Spending time outdoors in the garden also exposes seniors to natural sunlight, which supports the synthesis of vitamin D, essential for bone health and overall immunity.

Mental and Emotional Benefits of Gardening

Gardening has a calming effect on the mind and can significantly reduce stress levels. The repetitive nature of tasks such as digging or pruning promotes relaxation and mindfulness, allowing seniors to focus on the present moment and let go of worries.

Also, the sense of accomplishment that comes from nurturing plants and watching them thrive can boost mood and overall mental wellness.

Cognitive Benefits of Gardening

Participating in gardening activities stimulates cognitive functions such as memory and problem-solving. Things like monitoring planting schedules, recognizing different plant varieties, and planning garden layouts all help exercise the brain and keep it sharp.

Additionally, engaging in sensory experiences through touching, smelling, and observing plants enhances cognitive engagement and sensory perception.

Social Benefits of Gardening

Gardening also creates opportunities for social interaction and bonding among seniors. Whether exchanging gardening tips, sharing stories about their favorite plants, or working together on a project, gardening fosters a sense of community and fellowship. Members of the Garden Club enjoy connecting and building friendships.

Incorporating Gardening into Senior Living Facilities

Members of the Garden Club have the opportunity to participate in planting vegetables and herbs, cultivating flowers, and maintaining the garden space. The garden club not only promotes physical activity and mental stimulation but also encourages social interaction and a sense of purpose among residents.

“Nature is the best medicine for healing. I have seen the residents connect emotionally, mentally, and physically with the outdoors, giving them serenity and peace. Hosting the first Gardening Club I was able to see the joy growing fruits brought to my resident’s lives and look forward to the creation of new programs that can take place in our Garden.” – Jiranny Filpo, 3rd floor Recreation Leader

Our Garden Renovation Project

We are also excited to share that we are planning a complete garden renovation project for 2024. A fundraising campaign is currently underway to help us revitalize our outdoor patio and garden areas for all to enjoy.

We appreciate the contributions of all of our supporters who will help us make this dream a reality for our short term patients, long term residents, staff, family members, and friends.  Learn more about supporting our project.

What to Expect When Visiting Methodist Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation