Hinckley care residents get ‘green fingers’ for National Gardening Week | #elderly | #seniors | #execrise
Pictured above: The residents getting stuck in at their new gardening club.
Submitted by Steve Skerry
Residents at a Hinckley care home have started their own gardening club in the lead up to April’s National Gardening Week.
Staff at The Ashton, which offers residential, dementia, and respite care, run COVID-secure gardening activities as part of the fun-filled programme it offers at its location on John Street.
The residents have been getting busy planting a herb garden in the grounds, featuring basil, parsley, mint, and other useful herbs for cooking and stimulating the senses.
Also, there are plans to plant more fruit and vegetables as the planting season gets further underway.
National Gardening Week is held between April 27 and May 3 and is run by the Royal Horticultural Society.
Janice Weight, The Ashton activities coordinator, said: “There are so many
benefits of gardening: getting out in the fresh air and sunshine, moving and exercising, and having the satisfaction of watching the plants grow.
“We’ve purposely chosen to grow more herbs so that our residents can enjoy the use of them in their food and enjoy the smells of the leaves themselves.”
The week aims to raise awareness of gardening and horticulture as well as encourage more people to take part in a healthy and productive outdoor activity.
Research shows that gardening can improve the health of elderly people and those suffering with dementia in a number of ways.
It increases vitamin D levels, encourages cardiovascular exercise, increases the appetite, relieves stress, improves mood, and is a sociable activity to share with friends and carers.
Further scientific studies have shown that just being around plants can have health benefits, including: lowered blood pressure, improved reaction times, increased attention span, and lowered levels of anxiety and depression.
Recent studies with early-onset dementia patients have also proved that, over a year, participants’ mood and sociability improved.
Janice said: “For many of the residents, who have been keen gardeners in the past, the gardening club serves as a way of bringing back good memories of their own gardens.
“They love being able to shape their garden, looking after the plants, watering and weeding, and are already planning what to make with our crops once they have grown.”
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