Gardening App Provides Caregiver Stress Relief in Time for Earth Day

With spring upon us and Earth Day this weekend, caregivers and their senior clients might be wondering what they can do to be environmentally friendly and get outdoors a little more. As a hobby, gardening offers a way to help the earth, grow your own healthy foods and relieve some stress. The Garden Compass app provides gardening assistance to caregivers and their senior clients.

Caregivers and their senior clients can spend some time discussing what they'd like to plant in their garden before purchasing seeds. Seeds can be purchased online or at a retailer such as Home Depot. Once caregivers and their senior clients have decided what they'd like to plant and selected a location for their garden, then they can begin using the app. 

Users need to create an account upon initially opening the app. This can be done using a Facebook profile or email address. Then, caregivers can begin building their garden virtually. The app allows users to quickly scan the barcode on a plant to accurately add it to their garden. Alternatively, caregivers can search by the exact scientific name of their plant to add it to the list, or they can add a more generic category to the garden list. The generic categories include Annuals, Bulbs, Citrus and Avocado, Vegetables and Herbs, etc.

In the free version of the app, users can add up to three different plants to their garden. This gives caregivers a chance to try the app and see if they like it, and then if they do they can upgrade to the paid version. The different garden selections are then used to populate the Care Calendar on a month-by-month basis.

The Care Calendar gives caregivers specific advice on how to take care of each plant during that month. For example, during April it indicates which garden items can be planted during cold weather, and then it May it will detail which vegetables can be harvested. This will be particularly useful for senior caregivers and their clients who are new to gardening. 

If caregivers run into unexpected issues while tending to their garden, such as bugs eating their plants or the plants not growing as expected, the app also offers a pest identification service. Using this section of the app requires a credit, which users are given a few of for free upon signing up or can purchase. They then can snap a photo of their garden and upload it to the app. They can also include a comment, and then the experts will examine the photo and offer specific identification of the pest. 

The Garden Compass app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Gardening App Provides Hobby, Light Activity for Senior Clients

Now that it's officially summer, the optimal time for outdoor activities has come. Why sit inside all day when you can head out for an hour and soak up some sun? For senior caregivers looking for low-impact activities to partake in with their senior clients, the Gardening Companion app offers a way to get outside and connect with nature. 

Gardening proves to be optimal for senior clients because it doesn't require much physical labor. There may be some digging and pulling weeds, but a senior caregiver can work with their senior client to take care of the more strenuous tasks. It also offers a way for senior caregivers to bond with their clients, over planning which plants to include and actually planting them. Having a hobby also gives senior clients something to work towards and keeps their brains active while incorporating light physical activity. 

When caregivers first open the app, they must create an account. The process takes a few seconds if you connect an existing social media account to the app. The homepage of the app features popular articles for users to scroll through. The topics range from spotlights on specific types of plants, such as Dogwood, or more general topics about gardening, such as Soil & Fertilizers. 

The articles focusing on specific types of plants go into great detail by introducing the plant and then breaking down what's necessary for its care. Caregivers can search by plant name in the upper right corner if they have a specific plant in mind. Users can also favorite plants and articles to save for later. 

Reading through the profile and seeing the tips for growing that plant will help senior caregivers and their clients determine if it's a good fit for their home garden. The tips even offer differentiation between growing the plant indoors versus outdoors, so senior caregivers can take that into consideration. The only function missing from the app is a suggestion tool for which plants grow well when planted in the same bed.

The Journal and Reminder areas offer tools to stay on track with tending the garden. In the journal, caregivers can record events such as flowers blooming or vegetable plants being ready to pick to keep historical data for future years. And in Reminders, caregivers can set a reminder to water their plants based on its needs. 

Senior caregivers should remember to take into consideration the elements of working outside. Check the weather forecast before planning to spend an hour or two outside. Bring water bottles out for continued hydration, wear a hat with a brim to shade your face from the sun and wear sunblock or bug spray as needed. 

The Garden Companion app is available for Apple platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Garden Planning App for Caregiver Stress Relief

Gardening offers a lovely spring and summertime activity for senior caregivers to relieve stress and for their senior clients to get outdoors for an hour or two to get some light physical activity. The process of planning and planting a garden helps keep senior minds active and prevent onset of dementia. Using the Burpee Garden Time app, senior caregivers and their clients can plan out the various plants they'd like to grow in their garden. 

When users first open the app, they are met with a blank white screen with a single button at the bottom reading, "Let's Get Started." The blank screen makes it seem as though something is still loading or missing, but once users hit the button it takes them to the actual homepage to browse plants. The plants are broken into three categories: vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Each plant features its own page with Growing Instructions, Videos and information on Planting Dates. Notably, the Planting Dates information specifies the best way to grow that particular plant, whether it's ideal to begin growing them indoors and transfer them to the garden later or to sow the seeds directly in the garden.

To get the most accurate planting instructions, users should create an account with their location. With a location in place, the app offers a specific range of dates to sow the vegetable based on the needs of the plant. Even caregivers or senior clients who may not have their own designated garden space can grow a few different plants in large pots on balconies, porches or just outside of the door to their house. 

Topics for the in-app videos include information on different types of that plant, caring for that plant, common diseases for that plant and how to sow that particular plant. The My Garden area of the app also offers users the ability to look at all of the plants they've chosen for their garden and the Planner sets upcoming tasks for users to complete. The Weather area also provides the local forecast.

Caregivers can use gardening as a way to get outside, connect with nature and focus on something other than the stressors in their daily life. For their senior clients, gardening provides an opportunity to go outside and flex a few of their muscles in a low intensity way.  

The Burpee Garden Time Planner app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

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