Landscaping for Seniors Therapeutic Gardenscapes
An overwhelming 99% of residents who live in retirement communities say that having pleasant and well landscaped grounds is either important (48.5%) or essential (50.5%) to their well being. It’s no wonder why: good landscaping creates good views, good moods, and good walking opportunities for exercise to stay healthy.
So how can you build a landscaping design that’s “senior-friendly”? The first thing to consider is what seniors need out of their living spaces, whether in a community or living on their own.
A number one priority for many older people is easy maintenance, especially if they’re expected to take care of the grounds themselves after the landscaping company has done their job and left them to it. Integrated sprinkler systems can help with watering duties, and wide spaces with a hard surface like concrete for walking about are important for safety, especially for people with limited mobility or who use walkers or wheelchairs.
It’s also important to stay comfortable. Beautiful landscaping can be practical, too, with the help of shady trees, which can actually reduce home air conditioning costs in the summer by 15 to 50%. That’s because a good set of dense trees will block 95% of the sun’s light and 75% of its heat.
Many retirees and seniors look to their yards as a place of serenity and peace. Furnishing landscaped areas with plants and flowers is always a good idea. To cut down on annual costs and maintenance, opt for perennial plants that will regrow year after year or vegetables like asparagus that tend to take care of themselves. A yard that gives back to its owners is the best kind of gift you can give.
Finally, the landscaped area should be a place where seniors can invite, welcome, and entertain visitors. Staying social is vital to healthy aging, researchers say, and it’s good to have a place for holding social visits, no matter how small. Best of all, those visitors can help out with the maintenance while they’re there.
Retaining independence is important for seniors, and one great way to exercise that right is to take control over a beautifully landscaped yard. Your design can be fun and functional at the same time.
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