Gardening helps nourish mental, physical health of Hamptons of Tyler residents

Gardening helps nourish mental, physical health of Hamptons of Tyler residents
Published: Jul. 19, 2023 at 11:05 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2023 at 9:50 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Hamptons of Tyler assisted living has a garden where residents can plant, grow, and take care of their own flowers and vegetables.

They installed the planter boxes for their facility gardens around three years ago. Since then, Mandy Acker, the director of community relations, said it brings an overall boost in morale.

“So many of our residents had gardens that they enjoyed in their homes. Gardening is such a great activity for mental and physical health, it reduces anxiety and stress and gives them a sense of purpose and accomplishment,” Acker said.

The gardens include tomatoes, bell peppers, chilis, herbs and flowers.

Deanna Petty has lived in the Hamptons for two and a half months; she said there are a lot of physical benefits to gardening.

“As we age, we tend to just want to sit in a chair, and I love to read. It gets harder to get up and down with our arthritis and my fingers are very, very arthritic. Sometimes I don’t want to do anything except hold a nice little book with a cup of coffee but getting up out of the chair and moving and doing something. It also makes you feel worthwhile,” Petty said.

Acker said it also helps with fine motor skills.

“It can help if they are having trouble with their hands, their fine motor skills and keeps their hands moving to help with arthritis and those types of things,” Acker said.

According to the Mayo Clinic, studies showed an increase in gardening during the COVID-19 pandemic. They say gardening reduces stress and anxiety levels, lightens people’s moods, and creates structure and routine.

Judy Lippert has been a resident at the Hamptons for two years now. She is known as the “watering lady” around the Hamptons. She said she loves being able to garden.

“It’s really a joy to do this because it feels like you are doing something that’s good and so I enjoy it very much,” Lippert said.

The Green Thumb Club are the residents who run the gardens. They use all the items they grow as food served to residents.