Help! My Elderly Father Can’t Garden Anymore

Elaina’s father had always been an avid gardener and took great pride in cultivating beautiful flowers as well as delicious fruits and vegetables. However, as he grew older, it became much harder for him to keep up with his garden and it often became weed-infested by mid-summer.


Elderly Care in Brownsburg IN: Senior Gardening Benefits


After her father’s stroke, he moved in with Elaina and her family to recover.

However, she didn’t like how he just spent his days watching television. When Elaina heard about container gardening from a co-worker, she knew it was the perfect thing to get her elderly father active and outdoors once again.

Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in the country and it can be a wonderful way to spend time active and outdoors. When elderly adults become dependent on family caregivers and elder care assistants for their daily care, they often must let many of their hobbies go due to physical limitations. The good news is that gardening doesn’t have to be one of those thanks to container gardening.

Container gardening is growing plants in individual containers rather than in the ground. Instead of planting rows and rows of vegetables or an entire bed of flowers, the smaller containers hold a few plants. It’s an ideal way to downsize a gardening hobby, especially for elderly adults that are not as active, mobile or strong as they once were. The best part about container gardening is that it can be modified to suit just about everyone’s ability and even seniors in wheelchairs can benefit from it.


So what do family caregivers need to do to get their elderly relative started with container gardening?

The most important step is to get the right containers. Almost anything can be used to grow plants, from pots, buckets, and tubs to hanging baskets and table-style raised beds. Other options include old wheelbarrows, half barrels, and even old bathtubs. As long as the container has adequate drainage and meets the size requirements for the plants to grow, it can be used. The containers should be easy for the aging adult to reach, such as on a ledge, table or shelf.

Container plants need a little extra care compared to plants grown in the ground. The containers allow the soil to heat up faster than traditional gardens, and the soil dries out more quickly. They’ll need regular watering and monitoring to ensure they thrive. Containers can be moved in and out of the sun easily as well. They can be set on a sunny porch or patio, on a balcony, at the edge of the driveway or even in a sunny window. Many times, seniors can access these areas more easily than a corner of the yard for a traditional garden.

When the elderly adult is working in their container garden outdoors, they are being active and enjoying the outdoors. Consider planting some flowers that attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds for added beauty. Seniors will love harvesting fruits and vegetables from their container garden as well, bringing a burst of self-confidence and accomplishment. It’s easy to see why container gardening is the ideal hobby for dependent elderly adults.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care in Brownsburg, IN, please call the caring staff at Home Services Unlimited. Serving Greater Indianapolis Area. Call for Immediate Info & Assistance: (317) 471-0760


Etelka Froymovich, RN, MHA
Latest posts by Etelka Froymovich, RN, MHA (see all)