Tending to gardens, clearing eaves and gutters, and cleaning windows are but a few of the strenuous tasks that are required for home maintenance. These chores are especially worrisome for adults with senior parents living on their own. But, if your parent(s) can take these tasks on, they should—performing them has a positive effect on the body and mind.
We want to promote physical activity to our Denver retirement community residents but must always warn against pushing that activity too far. This time of the year is a great time to complete maintenance and to tidy up a bit before the summer begins. This is also a great way to become active and to stay motivated through the season. Read below about some maintenance ideas.
Gardening, for example is an excellent form of physical activity and, according to a study of almost 4,000 60-year-olds in Stockholm, can drastically improve cardiovascular health. The study, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, determined that regular gardening can cut the risk of a heart attack or stroke, and prolong life by as much as 30% among the 60+ age group. The study also determined that gardening and other activities, such as DIY projects, are as beneficial as exercise because they increase overall energy expenditure.
Digging in the dirt also has a positive impact on one’s mental health. According to an article published in the Journal of Health Psychology, gardening leads to decreased cortisol levels and positive moods which can promote relief from acute stress. Although not all spring maintenance duties are as enjoyable and therapeutic as gardening, performing regular activities can contribute to the overall health and well-being of your parent.
For many seniors, tending to spring maintenance tasks is not feasible. Neighbors and family members are often incredibly helpful in assisting these seniors with the more difficult chores that require strenuous physical activity or ones that can be dangerous, such as climbing a ladder to clean out gutters.