Keeping mind, body, and soul active is one of the most important things that we can do for ourselves….at any age.
We know that Alzheimer’s awareness programs encourage us to solve puzzles, learn to play the piano, or study a foreign language in order to keep our minds active and engaged. And, exercise programs such as SilverSneakers (try Gold’s Gym in Annandale) and Zumba Gold (there are several Zumba Gold classes in Fairfax) encourage us to keep our bodies active so that imbalance issues won’t keep us from pursuing our favorite activities.
That covers our minds and bodies, but how do we feed our souls? We can start by feeding our plants… and watering them…and tenderly training them into beautiful, living hobbies.
As we nurture our plants, we’re nurturing our souls. Growing plants and herbs are wonderful ways to bring the outside indoors during the darkest and coldest days of winter.
Getting a jumpstart on a few herb and vegetable seedlings indoors will boost us into a busy and productive spring and summer garden season outdoors. Then, just as we fed and nurtured our seedlings during the winter, our soul is rejuvenated by the successes of our plantings!
There is something gratifying and satisfying about digging in the warm, damp earth after a cold winter spent indoors. No matter our skills or occupations, digging and planting is rewarding!
If you or a loved one are unable to work outdoors or bending and stretching is a problem, container gardening. Studies have shown that working with familiar objects is excellent therapy for seniors dealing with dementia issues. An activity box filled with seeds, gardening gloves, a trowel and other gardening tools offers a soothing sense of familiarity to a gardening hobbyist suffering from dementia-related anxiety issues.
For a refreshing outing, visit Winkler Botanical Preserve, not far away at 5400 Roanoke Avenue in Alexandria. Call (703) 578-7888 for more information.
You can learn more about gardening in Fairfax by contacting the Fairfax County Master Gardeners. Or, for more tips on gardening and other soul-building activities for your senior love one, please visit www.keepmommoving.org
If you have a favorite hobby that feeds your soul, please share your story with our readers on our Caregiver Forum. Your hobby may be another reader’s.