April is National Garden Month.
During this month, get creative with your caregiver efforts and help your parent to approach some of their care needs with the creation of a garden. While planting and tending to a garden can help your parent in many ways, one of the most meaningful is the stimulation of their mind.
Regularly presenting challenges and stimulation to the mind helps it to stay sharp and wards off issues like memory loss and depression. This promotes better mental and emotional health over the course of your parent’s lifetime and can motivate them to take better care of themselves for an overall higher quality of life.
Some of the ways of starting a garden with your senior which can stimulate their mind include:
-Choosing the area of their lawn where they want to create their garden requires abstract thought, planning, and logic. These are thought processes that are often neglected in a senior’s daily life but are very important for ongoing cognitive health and processing.
-Researching how to plant the garden and then putting the steps of preparing the ground into place requires learning, asking and answering questions, creating a plan, and then following instructions.
-Choosing the types of plants you will have in the garden requires the two of you to look into what types of plants thrive in their area, select plants appropriate for the land and amount of sun, and then create a garden that is visually appealing.
-Exposure to the various colors and patterns of flowers stimulates the sensory portions of the brain and can also trigger memories.
-Spending time together gardening creates an ideal opportunity for talking and sharing, which not only promotes a stronger, more meaningful relationship but also keeps their mind sharper and more responsive.
-Remembering to care for the garden regularly keeps the memory active and encourages continuous complex thought as your parent must remember each step and follow through with it properly, as well as respond to changes such as weather that dictates how much water or pests that might show up.
Caring for an elderly adult who is struggling with cognitive functioning decline can be daunting and stressful.
Fortunately, you don’t have to take on this challenge on your own. Home care is there to help you. An in-home senior care services provider can step in to fill care gaps, manage tasks that are too challenging or emotionally stressful for you, and ensure you have the time and energy to handle other things in your life as well. Especially important is the adaptable, customizable nature of this care. This means even as your parent’s needs and challenges increase, so can their care to ensure it continues to match your parent and give them their highest quality of life throughout their later years.