Protect Seniors from Fraud
Rebecca Kolls, host of the nationally syndicated television show Rebecca's Garden, and the Home Instead Senior Care® network have worked together to help seniors continue to enjoy gardening.
This dual-effort public-education program has sought to bring back gardening joys to seniors who have difficulty maintaining gardens, or who have given up gardening altogether due to health or age concerns.
Kolls, whose grandparents originally inspired her interest in gardening, credits gardens with supplying not only food and beauty, but also improved mental and physical well-being.
"There's a nurturing aspect in gardening where you take a seed and coddle it," said Kolls, who has launched a national magazine Seasons by Rebecca, and is a gardening and lifestyles contributor to Good Morning America. "Seniors have given up child rearing, so gardening gives them baby plants and seedlings again. It's a new way of caring for something."
Home Instead Senior Care's CAREGiversSM – who go to the homes of older individuals and assist them with day-to-day, non-medical activities of daily living such as errands, shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry and hobbies – can see first-hand how valuable gardening is for their clients.
"We often hear our CAREGivers speak of their clients who love to care for plants and flowers, and how they see it enriching those clients' lives," said Jeff Huber, president and Chief Operating Officer of the Home Instead Senior Care network. "Many of our CAREGivers enjoy gardening as well, and are thrilled to help seniors enjoy gardening and plant projects."
Home Instead Senior Care strives to match its CAREGivers with clients of similar interests. This allows them to build relationships through doing the things their clients enjoy most. And the company's Activity Training Guide for CAREGivers helps them generate other creative ideas to keep seniors engaged and enjoying life.
"Our CAREGivers not only garden, but participate in other activities their clients enjoy, such as cooking, scrapbooking, arts and crafts, and attending performances and other cultural events," Huber said. "We like to involve our clients as much as we can in the interests they've always enjoyed."
Another great thing about gardening as a senior activity is that it is timeless. "The beauty of the garden, if done well, will provide four seasons of color. While seniors in warmer climates can garden year-round, those in cold-weather climates should not despair," Kolls said. "In the winter, snow catches in seed heads, and birds find refuge in shrubbery and feed off seeds from the cone flowers. So no matter where you live, there's always something growing in the garden."
A little creative thinking and some assistance from families or caregivers help ensure that seniors can continue to enjoy the types of gardening they love. "Imagine growing almost everything for a recipe in one container," Kolls said. "What a great gift idea!"
She suggests the following projects to get you started:
Check out these handy tidbits on how to help the seniors achieve gardening success:
NOTE: Go to www.garden.org for zone maps and other helpful advice.
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