How Can I Start My Aging Parent on Container Gardening?

Container gardening is ideal for seniors with mobility issues because it doesn’t require them to get close to the ground. There is also less bending, stooping, and full-body digging. Traditional gardening requires a lot of physical ability and strain, but many aging adults can be successful at container gardening, even those in wheelchairs. As long as they have some support and help from family caregivers and elder care providers, they can tend to their plants and reap the rewards of flowers, vegetables and fruits.

Elder Care Delray Beach, FL: Seniors and Gardening

To set an elderly mom or dad up with a small container garden, family caregivers or elder care providers can follow these tips:

  • Match the Containers with the Aging Adult’s Ability: Container gardening should be customized to the elderly adult and therefore the containers can differ from person to person. Containers can be waist-high raised beds where the senior can sit comfortably or several large pots where the aging adult can reach them with a wheelchair. Some seniors may like hanging baskets and large half-barrels as well. As long as the aging adult can comfortably reach into the dirt without putting them off balance, the containers will work.


  •  Choose Container-friendly Plants: Not all garden plants do well in containers, so its important to pick those that thrive in more restrained locations. Many plants are specially cultivated for containers, including eggplants, onions, radishes, lettuce, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes. Don’t forget about fruits like strawberries, currants and raspberries and herbs such as thyme, parsley, and basil. Most flowers and decorative green plants will do well in containers, too.


  •  Find a Place for the Garden to Live: Traditional gardens are usually dug out of the back yard in a sunny corner. Container gardens can be placed just about anywhere they get enough sun. Ideal spots for seniors to access include a porch, balcony or patio. Other areas include a sunny spot in the yard near the back door or even along the driveway. There’s no reason why containers can’t be put in a flower bed if it’s the best place and easily accessible. The flexibility of container gardens makes them ideal for almost any home.


  • Keep Seniors Safe: Even container gardening brings risks to senior health and safety, so it makes sense for family caregivers and elder care providers to assist when they can. Gardening gets seniors outdoors, but they should always have sunscreen and a protective hat. They should always be hydrated and take lots of water breaks. There is still a lot of activity with container gardening, so family caregivers and elder care providers should keep an eye on the aging adult’s balance, strength and stamina. Finally, slip and fall accidents are always possible, too.


  • Family Caregivers and Elder Care Providers Should Assist: There will be tasks with container gardening that many seniors shouldn’t do, from picking up filled pots to lugging heavy watering cans around. Seniors can probably do a lot on their own and should be encouraged, but family caregivers and elder care providers need to know the limits and step in as needed.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in Delray Beach,FL, please call the caring staff at Activa Home Health Care at (561) 819-4112.  Serving Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach and surrounding communities.

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