Summer brings warmer weather and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the sunshine with your family. With the plethora of options available, summer is the perfect time to get some family time with your senior friends and family.
For the first entry in our senior summer activities series we decided to delve into the benefits of one of our favorite pastimes: tending the garden. Cultivating an array of plant life with your parent or grandparent requires patience, love, and care – much like your daily relationships.
Plant Your Future
If you and your senior family member don’t have a garden, you can spend time together planting seeds and bulbs in your soil. Choose an area that’s most convenient for your loved one – if they live in a senior home or have to travel far to reach you, make their dwelling the location of the garden in question.
A fun activity you can do while it’s raining is to purchase some seed catalogues and decide on what types of flowers and plants you’ll grow. Pick catalogues with vibrant, large pictures and plan your lush garden together. Seniors can pick specific themes and flowers based on memories and gardens they’ve had in the past.
Plan a trip to a local nursery if you need assistance in choosing the plants you want. Start small – maybe plant a few seeds outside their front door, or start a mini-garden on your patio. Be sure to choose safe times of the day to plant together – depending on the weather in your area, morning and evening are best so you two don’t get overheated in direct sunlight.
Some Tender Love and Care
Once your plants are in the ground and begin to grow, come up with a schedule that works for both of you for regular garden maintenance. For family with a lot of obligations and commitments, scheduling regular intervals to water and tend to the garden will help keep family visits routine for seniors.
Interaction with loved ones is an essential component of a senior’s life. They will love knowing if that you’ll be by on regular intervals to tend to the garden. Bring fertilizer and tools, but also incorporate fun snacks and drinks into your visits. Showing up with a pitcher of lemonade will spice up your visit, and your loved one will be grateful.
Plan for Life
With gardening, certain types of flowers may not survive your climate, or may fall out of season. Keep your garden interesting by planting new flowers every year or two. You and your loved ones can take pictures with GrandPad and make a photo collage of all the phases your garden has been through!
As always, practice senior safety when outside. Apply sunscreen, wear a visor, and drink plenty of water. It’s also important to help them get up and down if they have any mobility problems. You know your loved one best – don’t let them push themselves too hard. Together, you’ll make a beautiful garden that will last beyond the warm months of summer.