Dementia patients care for plants, plant new things and reminisce about their gardens providing a link between the past and present. This improves physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Isolation, frustration and depression often accompany the aging process. The emotional turmoil can hasten physical decline, especially in dementia patients. Participants are challenged to move to care for a plant improving both strength and coordination. Their care for living things gives them a sense of importance and success boosts self esteem. It is an activity that can reach a wide range of seniors who have no other common interest. Friendships grow with the garden.
Seniors will engage in hands-on activities that contribute to the success of the garden. They can share their own experiences if they choose, and will tend a garden from which they will gather vegetables for their dinner and beautify their home.
Horticulture therapy has the potential to change the short-term prognosis for dementia patients. Linking today’s activities to the memories of their past has the potential to keep these seniors alert, active and healthy for many more years.
This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).
Norwood Crossing Home Page
International Society for Horticulture Science
Seniors Resource Guide