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5 Benefits from Houseplants for Seniors

By Jessica Deng

Today is National Houseplant Appreciation Day and an excellent opportunity to celebrate the joys and benefits of tending to an indoor garden. Cultivating a garden is a great activity for seniors and it’s fun, purposeful, and even provides numerous health benefits.Indoor gardening and houseplants are inexpensive and easy to care for, older adults can easily surround themselves with greenery by bringing a bit of nature into the comfort of their own home. Today, we will look at some of the benefits of houseplants and give you some ideas for how you can celebrate this holiday come January.

Benefits of Houseplants

  • Stress Relief
    • Reducing our stress levels, anxiety, and blood pressure is essential in maintaining good mental health, especially as we age. Tending to plants can help seniors slow down, quiet their thoughts, and connect with nature.
  • Plants improve memory and concentration
    • One of the biggest benefits seniors can experience from having an indoor garden is improved memory and concentration. A senior showed that spending time in a garden can improve memory retrieval in people with advanced dementia. Indoor gardens may be a useful holistic treatment for seniors who are experiencing memory loss.
  • Plants reduce indoor pollution and increase the air quality within your home
    • Volatile organic compounds – particles from carpets, paint, cleaning, products, and other objects that can irritate the eyes, skin, and lungs. Houseplants soak up these compounds, leaving the air cleaner. Plants can get rid of harmful chemicals and increase oxygen levels.
  • Caring is an accomplishment
    • Caring for plants is especially good for seniors who have been caregivers and are now experiencing role reversal and need a sense of purpose. Nurturing plants provides similar satisfaction to caring for another human and is a great way to maintain the physical and emotional benefits of nurturing.
  • Houseplants are easy to care for
    • Houseplants are easy and more enjoyable for seniors than tending to an outdoor garden. Outdoor gardens require lots of weeding, watering, and maintenance. Performing those tasks on especially hot or cold days can be physically taxing, especially for older adults. Seniors are prone to heat stress and hypothermia so keeping plants indoors may be better for their health.

If you’re looking for ways to celebrate National Houseplant Appreciation Day, here are top three ways we’ve thought of:

  • Get a new plant
    • What better way to celebrate Houseplant Appreciation Day than bringing a new leafy green friend home? Visit your favorite local plant store for some succulents or pothos.
  • Play them music
    • Just like how plants respond well to talking and singing, they’re also stimulated by playing music – particularly because they feel the vibrations from the sound waves.
  • Decorate with plants
    • Rearrange your plants and enjoy them in different spaces in your home. Just make sure the lighting and temperature conditions are similar in the spot you’re moving the plants can be sensitive to even slight environmental changes.

Houseplants offer a variety of benefits and can be an ideal hobby for aging adults. Whether it’s a flower, cactus, herb, or other greenery, indoor plants enable seniors to stay active while bringing and enjoying splashes of nature and joy into their homes. However, if you choose to celebrate National Houseplant Appreciation Day, we hope that you and your plants have a great day!

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