March 18, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille


The cool dampness of fresh soil. The warmth of the sun. The happy trills of songbirds. Gardening has the ability to engage so many of our senses, and provides many great benefits to older adults. Regardless of ability level or any space restrictions, there’s always a way to help older adults experience the pleasures of planting indoors or outdoors, watching new growth emerge, and harvesting. As the leading provider of elder care in Syracuse, NY and surrounding areas, we’re happy to share the benefits of gardening for seniors.

Spark interest (or renew interest) in the world of gardening for a senior you love, and discover the following benefits of gardening for seniors:

  • A sunnier outlook on life. Reports have shown that when compared with other hobbies, gardening is typically the winner in fighting stress levels and improving mood. Participants in the research study worked on a stress-inducing task, and were then directed to either spend 30 minutes gardening outside, or reading inside. Blood tests clearly showed a decreased quantity of cortisol – a stress hormone – in the gardening test group.
  • Increased strength, flexibility, and stamina. Believe it or not, gardening can actually provide a cardio workout in many cases, but even sitting in place while carrying out gardening tasks will help strengthen and build muscles. The basic acts of bending, twisting, reaching, and pulling can also increase stamina and flexibility.
  • Lowered dementia risk. A fascinating and comprehensive study of nearly 3,000 participants has found that dementia risk is reduced by as much as 36 percent in adults over age 60 who participated in gardening and similar physical activities.
  • The opportunity to make friends. Community gardens bring neighbors together for a common purpose, offering opportunities to build friendships. The American Community Gardening Association offers its members the chance to find a community garden in their area – or, to start a new one.

An indoor garden is fantastic for those who cannot get outside or if the weather isn’t cooperating. Decorate small clay pots with markers or paint, and fill with potting soil and a variety of herb seeds. Or create a terrarium with a glass bowl, small shells/stones/etc., potting soil and some small succulents.

Need some additional indoor gardening activity ideas? Find ten simple ideas here, and get in touch with At Home Independent Living for a care companion to help! Our compassionate care team is always available to help seniors live life to the fullest through highly engaging activities such as gardening, as well as:

  • Reminiscing and conversations
  • Mind-stimulating puzzles and games
  • Engaging outings
  • Favorite (or new) hobbies: knitting, crocheting, mastering a language or musical instrument – the ideas are endless!

Call us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) any time for a free in-home assessment to learn about a more enriching life for an older adult you love with the best in-home elder care in Syracuse, NY and nearby areas!