How Can Aging Adults with Dementia Safely Engage in Gardening?

By , 9:00 am on

Gardening is one of the best hobbies your senior loved one can participate in. It’s an excellent way to get some physical activity, boost mental outlook, reduce stress, and receive many other health benefits. Gardening can also be a good activity for seniors with dementia. If you have a loved one with dementia who enjoys gardening, make sure he or she is following a few important safety tips.

Consider Container Gardens

A garden that is flat on the ground can be difficult for older people to care for and lead to back pain, falls, and other physical issues, which is why many seniors are turning to containers. Gardening in pots and other containers means your loved one can raise plants anywhere, even on a porch or patio. Opting for a container can help you keep a better eye on your loved one and make sure he or she doesn’t wander off.

Avoid Dangerous Tools

Gardening tools are one of the biggest causes of danger when working outdoors, especially for seniors with vision or memory issues. It may be best to replace some of your loved one’s sharper tools with those that have rounded edges. Tools with larger, easy-to-grasp handles are also ideal for people with dementia. Foam and tape are good for making handles softer and easier to hold.

One of the many ways to ensure the safety of your loved one is to hire a professional caregiver. If your senior loved one needs professional in-home care in Mesa, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a trusted provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care for seniors.

Create Smooth and Even Pathways

No matter where your loved one is gardening, the pathways to the garden and between the beds should be smooth and even to prevent falls. Check them regularly for rocks, sticks, and other tripping hazards. Fill in any holes, and level off any hills or bumps.

Wear Protective Equipment

Make sure your loved one wears the right equipment to prevent injury. Gloves can prevent blisters on the hands. Sturdy closed-toe shoes can prevent falling and damage to the toes if something heavy or sharp falls on the foot. Glasses or goggles can prevent debris from getting into the eyes.

Use Sun Protection

It’s also important to protect your loved one from the sun, even on cooler days. Light-colored cotton clothing, hats, and sunglasses can all serve as a barrier from the sun’s harmful rays. Sunscreen is also important for protecting the skin. Make sure your loved one has plenty of water and knows to take breaks inside or in the shade occasionally, especially on hotter days.

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. In Mesa, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.

Treat Cuts and Bites Immediately

Small cuts and insect bites are the most common injuries people receive while gardening. If these happen to your loved one, it’s important to treat them immediately so they don’t become infected or lead to other health complications. If your loved one continues to receive these types of minor injuries, do what’s necessary to prevent them. He or she may need to wear bug spray when outside, or perhaps it’s time to trade in those thorny rosebushes for something a little softer.

Providing care for aging adults with dementia can be a difficult task. 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 elderly care Mesa, AZ, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To customize a dementia care plan for your loved one, call (480) 699-4899 today.