We have over the past few weeks, worked with our residents to transform Newstead garden. The aim was to create a garden, with our residents, for them to enjoy and potter in.
Garden benefits for the elderly
Gardening had many health and therapeutic benefits for the elderly. The obvious ones are that it provides fresh air, exercise, enjoyment and fresh fruit and vegetables. However, with the elderly in particular it also;
- improves endurance and strength
- maintains mobility, flexibility and fine motor skills
- prevents diseases such as osteoporosis
- reduces stress levels and promotes relaxation
- provides stimulation and an interest in the outdoors
- improves well being through social interaction and a sense of achievement from growing plants
Adapting our garden to suit our residents
There are some physical and mental considerations to bear in mind, when gardening with the elderly.
We have created raised vegetable troughs to enable easy access for our residents to get stuck into planting with out having to bend over. This will also be a benefit when it comes to harvesting their vegetables.
Lightweight tools with easy grips also help and an easily accessible hose.
We also have a shaded area, so that our residents are not in direct sun and stable chairs and tables for comfortable gardening.
Before our garden planting began, our residents had an outing to our local garden centre.
It was fabulous to have our work experience college students there to help, along with our activities coordinator, Vanda.
We browsed among the plants and all got lots of inspiration and shared our ideas over coffee and cake in the garden centre cafe.
Creating our Newstead Garden
Brimming with ideas and with the sun shining, we all set to transforming our Newstead garden. We were lucky enough to welcome back our college work experience students to help. Also our home manager, Alison, very kindly provided lots of plants.
It was a wonderful time spent together, planting up all the young vegetable plants in our raised troughs. Our residents thoroughly enjoyed getting stuck in. You can see from the photos how hands on everyone was.
Our vegetable garden now includes green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, courgettes and cabbages. It will be fantastic to see everything grow over the next few months and then reap the rewards of all our hard work.
Not content at stopping with vegetables, we have also prettied up the garden with 14 hanging baskets and 4 tubs. These have been placed around our home, so that everyone can admire them.
A huge well done to all our residents who worked so hard to transform our garden. You certainly gave Alan Titchmarsh a run for his money!
Thank you also to all the staff helpers, our college work experience students and Alison, for all the plants.