Benefits of Gardening for Seniors

April 8, 2019
Melissa Sadler, RN

It’s that time of the year again. The weather is warming, the cherry blossoms are coming to bloom, and it’s just about time to grab your sun hats, gloves, and garden tools for some time in the garden. Gardening is an activity that anyone can enjoy, including our seniors. There are tons of health benefits to reap along with the food harvest. Keep reading for some insights we bet you never knew about gardening:

Gardening is a stress reliever. According to, research has shown that gardening can lower levels of the hormone cortisol, which can cause stress, high blood pressure, and have a negative impact on glucose levels.

Gardening is good for your heart. A Stockholm study indicated that the exercise produced by gardening can help cut the risk of a heart attack or stroke and prolong life by as much as 30% in those age 60+.

Gardening may lower the risk of dementia. In a study that followed nearly 3000 men and women age 60+ over the course of 16 years, results showed that daily gardening produced a 36% lowered risk of acquiring dementia.

But who’s got the space for a garden? Well, here is a picture of our own tomato plant sitting in a black fabric planter on our home deck at the beginning of the planting season in 2017:

And here’s our 6 ft behemoth plant at season end:


There’s no need to be deterred by mere patio space. In fact, balcony railings serve as an excellent trellis for vining plants. Go ahead and grab some fabric planters, dirt, and some seedlings, and help the senior in your life reap some of the health benefits associated with gardening.