Best Houseplants for Improving Air Quality for Seniors
August 14, 2018
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
Family members that want to create a comprehensive elderly care plan for their loved ones need to think about indoor air quality in the home. Studies show indoor air quality can be as high as or higher than many urban cities. This means for many people, they are breathing in particles that can trigger allergies and other respiratory problems while in their own homes.
For seniors, this can be particularly troubling because many already suffer from weakened immune systems and compromised respiratory issues. Fortunately, there is a simple way to help clean the air indoors—houseplants.
How Do Indoor Plants Clean the Air?
Plants can boost air quality due to the unique way they process gases. Plants absorb certain volatile organic compounds from the air through pores in their leaves. Some of the VOCs include formaldehyde, benzene, acetone, and butane. The plants remove the VOCs from the air, send them to the roots and neutralize them.
Carbon dioxide is also absorbed into the plant, and in exchange, it releases pure oxygen into the air. This process is scientifically known as phytoremediation and it’s an efficient, natural process that doesn’t harm the plants but really makes an impact on the air quality. When combined with open windows and a clean ventilation system, plants can definitely boost the air quality in a senior’s home.
The 7 Best Houseplants for Improving Air Quality
While many plants can clean the air, certain varieties are more effective and efficient at it than others. Any family caregivers considering purchasing plants for beauty and improved air quality should look at this list of the 7 best air purifying plants for elderly people.
1. English Ivy
English ivy is a climbing vine that is particularly good at absorbing formaldehyde.
2. Boston Fern
Boston ferns are some of the best air cleaning plants but need regular watering to stay healthy.
3. Golden Pothos
Golden pothos, also known as devil’s ivy, is easy to grow and sports lovely marbled green leaves that absorb all kinds of VOCs.
4. Snake Plant
A snake plant in any room will definitely boost oxygen levels.
5. Peace Lily
The peace lily is an excellent plant for low light conditions but should not be at ground level as it is toxic to pets.
Dracaena, particularly the red-edged variety, does best in rooms with moderate sunlight and tall ceilings.
7. Spider Plant
Spider plants are some of the easiest houseplants to grow and they do an excellent job of scrubbing the air of toxins.
Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care Services
Poor air quality may seem like no big deal because particles are invisible to the eye, but they can trigger or magnify many health conditions that affect the elderly. Also, many elderly people aren’t as mobile as they used to be or may be bedridden. This means they spend a lot more time indoors than the average adult. If their air quality is improved with the use of houseplants, they can enjoy better health and wellness for years to come.