Gardening is a favorite hobby for many seniors, and it has many benefits for their health. Your aging loved one will be inspired to soak up those lovely rays of sunshine when he or she has plants outside to serve as a motivator. Seniors with dementia also benefit from spending time surrounded by plants, and growing their own vegetables can give their diets a brain-friendly boost. You can use these tips to help your loved one enjoy working in the garden during all stages of dementia.
1. Selecting & Planting Seeds
Seniors in the earliest stages of dementia can still participate in the majority of the decisions they need to make while planning their gardens. Performing tasks such as selecting seeds and deciding where to plant them engages the brain. If your loved one is in the later stages, he or she can still help with this activity. However, you may need to limit the choices to one or two acceptable options.
Seniors with dementia can optimize their quality of life with the help of highly trained, experienced professional caregivers. If your senior loved one needs professional dementia care, Montgomery caregivers are available around the clock to provide the high-quality care he or she needs. Using the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, dementia caregivers can help your loved one stay mentally engaged and delay the progression of the disease.
2. Making Plant Markers
Even gardeners without dementia sometimes need reminders to know where they planted their seedlings. There are many different ways to make plant markers, but one of the simplest is to glue a laminated seed packet to a stake. Creating visual reminders of where the plants are helps seniors with dementia instantly recognize their plants when they have difficulty comprehending written words.
3. Creating a Garden Stone
There are many activities your loved one can do in the garden that don’t require picking up potentially dangerous equipment, such as a spade. Making a garden stone is a fun activity that allows your loved one to express his or her creativity. You can purchase a kit, or you can simply use any box as a mold to fill with plaster. Once you pour the plaster, your loved one can add rhinestone jewels, aquarium pebbles, and other mementos to make the stepping stone sparkle and shine. You can also turn this into a memory exercise by having your loved one make stones to celebrate special themes, such as his or her birthday or a visit from a friend.
4. Setting Up a Bird Feeder
Gardens are also a hub of activity, and your loved one can stimulate his or her mind by setting up a space for birds to visit. Bird feeders are simple to set up, and you can also add a birdbath if there’s enough space. Your loved one will enjoy watching these visitors arrive every day, and you can use birdwatching as an opportunity to help your loved one retain vocabulary skills.
Seniors with dementia often need assistance with everyday activities so they can age in place in safety and comfort. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
5. Experiencing the Sights & Scents
Once their gardens are in full bloom, seniors with dementia can enjoy the sensory experience of walking through their outdoor spaces. Encourage your loved one to sniff the flowers and sample the herbs. As you do, talk about the different colors, scents, and textures. The sensory experience combined with conversation may help your loved one strengthen his or her oral language abilities.
If your loved one is living with dementia, having a trained professional caregiver close by can provide you and your family with much-needed peace of mind. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. Montgomery families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To create a customized care plan for your loved one, call us at (334) 593-3988 today.