At Glen Oaks Community we offer raised gardens and garden plots for Residents. Gardening requires regular and continuous care; therefore, for older adults actively engaged with their home gardens, gardening provides opportunities for increased physical activity, which can prevent osteoporosis, reduce the risk of some cancers, Type 2 diabetes, depression, and heart disease. At Glen Oaks Community along with the plots and raised gardens, many Resident’s also plant vegetables and flowers on their apartment decks.


Gardening has many health and therapeutic benefits for older people, especially edible gardening. Garden beds, equipment and tools can all be modified to create a garden that is interesting, accessible, and productive. Some medical conditions and physical disabilities may restrict or prevent older people from participating in gardening. However, with planning and a few changes, you can create a safe, accessible, and pleasant space.

Benefits of gardening for older people

Gardening is beneficial for older people because it:

  • is an enjoyable form of exercise.
  • increases levels of physical activity and helps mobility and flexibility.
  • encourages use of all motor skills
  • improves endurance and strength.
  • helps prevent diseases like osteoporosis.
  • reduces stress levels and promotes relaxation.
  • provides stimulation and interest in nature and the outdoors.
  • improves wellbeing as a result of social interaction.
  • can provide nutritious, home-grown produce.

Gardening activities for older people

There are many activities associated with cultivating a garden that older people may enjoy. These include:

  • digging
  • planting
  • watering
  • harvesting food and flowers
  • sensory enjoyment – smelling, touching, looking, listening, remembering.
  • crafts and hobbies associated with plants.
  • food preparation.


Call Kim Boyd, manager for more information about TimberCrest Independent Living in Clear Lake, Iowa at 641-355-1203. Check out our website at and our Facebook Page at  Kim can also be reached by email at