Many seniors have a green thumb and enjoy spending time nurturing houseplants or tending a vegetable garden. However, new research points to a strong link between spending time with plants and a host of surprising benefits. How can houseplants and plant therapy help seniors to thrive?
Plants suck up water through the roots, push the moisture to the leaves and get rid of the rest through evaporation. This process is known as transpiration, and it creates about 10% of the moisture in the earth’s atmosphere. Whenever you take a houseplant indoors, transpiration will add moisture to the air inside of your home. When it’s dry or cold outside, a slightly elevated humidity level can lower your chances of experiencing dry and cracked skin, colds, coughs and sore throats. The flu virus also prefers dry air for transmission and survival, so air with higher humidity can aid in flu prevention.
One of the most important jobs that plants have is taking carbon dioxide out of the air and turning it into oxygen. This means that they’re a great counterpoint to humans and animals, who do the exact opposite. Adding houseplants to your home can increase oxygen levels and help you breathe a bit easier.
Houseplants are also able to help purify the air in your home without ever needing a filter change. Plant leaves and roots can remove small amounts of toxic vapors, like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, in sealed areas. One research study at NASA suggests using one plant per 100 square feet of living space. The best plants for keeping your air clean are:
While flowers and plants have been the traditional gift after surgery or a hospital stay for decades, the importance of greenery in the healing process is becoming better understood. A study at Kansas State University found that viewing plants during recovery lowered blood pressure, pain levels, anxiety levels and fatigue. Patients who had plants in the room also gave more positive feedback and had higher treatment satisfaction levels. Introducing plants into the home can have the same effect.
At Senior Care Lifestyles, we specialize in facilitating the connection between seniors and the right in-home care, assisted living and senior living communities. We have assisted hundreds of families with finding effective and affordable solutions for loved ones. Get in touch today by calling 410-977-3718!