So, you have arranged for eldercare home care for your loved one, but you really want to stay involved in his daily life. He is safe and he has someone who does activities with him, but you want to be there for your loved one as well. Well, spring is nearly upon us and, if your loved one once enjoyed gardening, why not turn the soil together?
Gardening is a healthful activity but it also can let some pleasurable memories surface. You and your loved one can reminisce as you work. How do you garden with someone who has some debilities and needs extra care? Here are some ideas to make spring gardening a great pastime for both of you.
As we age, our vision changes as the eye lens thickens. Distinguishing blues and greens is harder. We may not have good depth perception either. Paint all your gardening tools in bright colors. Make sure garden paths are well-marked and free of obstructions, too.
People generally lose strength and flexibility as they age. Now, before gardening season is here, raise flower beds to sitting-height and add substantial edges where your loved one can rest while working.
Remember that older people don’t adapt to temperature changes the way younger people do. Hats are a must, as are light jackets if it is cool. Take a spritzer bottle of water outside with you if it is hot and use it frequently on necks and faces. Be sure to take breaks with your loved one and drink lots of water.
If your loved one has a chronic illness or another condition that precludes his working outdoors, bring the garden indoors. Plant container gardens you can bring inside to work.
The important thing to remember is that this is an activity for the two of you to enjoy. Be consistent in your gardening visits and allow your loved one to take ownership of the project, planning what to plant and when to plant it if possible. It is important, however, to choose plants that don’t require a lot of care. When your lettuce or peas come in, be sure to have a victory meal and enjoy them together.
For more ideas on how to remain engaged with your elderly loved one, contact us. We’re here for both of you.