How Can Gardening Help Relieve Elderly Stress?

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Stress can affect seniors for a variety of reasons, and improperly managed stress can lead to more severe health conditions. Because of this, it’s important to find constructive ways to ward off these emotions. Oftentimes, leisure activities like gardening can help seniors fight off stress with minimal effort. This includes small gardens on the patio or large areas in the backyard your senior loved one can tend to. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care Mississauga families trust, wants to share some of the ways gardening can alleviate your loved one’s stress.

Exposure to Sunlight

Your loved one’s mood can get a quick boost just by being in the sun. The fresh air and influx of vitamin D provided by the sunlight is beneficial for his or her emotional health. Exposure to sunlight increases the brain’s release of the hormone serotonin, causing your loved one to be more calm and focused. Your loved one can fight stress thanks to the sunlight, but remember too many warm rays can be harmful to his or her skin. Make sure your loved one receives just enough sunlight to boost his or her mood and reduce stress levels.

The Calming Effects of Nature

The atmosphere and scenery in a garden can promote relaxation. Being outdoors and in touch with nature helps combat the stressors many seniors encounter on a daily basis. The sounds of nature can also help your loved one escape negative thoughts that may be running through his or her mind. A garden is the perfect place for meditation and relaxation to encourage stress relief.

Exercise

Gardening gives your loved one opportunities to remain physically active, which helps relieve stress. A senior’s aging body can get a moderate aerobic workout by working in a garden. The bending, kneeling, weeding, and pruning movements provide just the right amount of exercise to pump endorphins. These feel-good neurotransmitters are released in the brain and begin fighting stress and pain immediately. Endorphins can boost your loved one’s mood, increase his or her self-confidence, and relieve stress.

Bacteria in the Soil

When your loved one gardens, he or she can relieve depression and anxiety symptoms. Mycobacterium vaccae is a harmless bacterium found in the soil of most gardens. It can help increase metabolism and release serotonin to the parts of your loved one’s brain that control cognitive function and mood. This bacterium can also help your loved one alleviate stress due to depression caused by medications, lack of social stimulation, and many other reasons.

In addition to gardening, there are many other activities your loved one can perform to reduce stress. At Home Care Assistance, we offer a program called the Balanced Care Method that focuses on helping seniors find their inner calm so they can live longer, healthier, and happier lives. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia home care Mississauga seniors can rely on. For more information and to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please call one of our friendly Care Managers at (905) 337-1200 today.