Horticulture therapy is a very valuable way to improve the emotional state of residents living with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of Dementia. Tending to plants decreases anxiety. Creating and maintaining a garden develops gross motor skills. Also, sitting in a garden setting produces mental and sensory stimulation.
Even if your loved one has never been an avid gardener, introducing them to blooms now could be a good idea: this green hobby has been shown to benefit Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Studies show that gardening helps battle with Alzheimer’s as well as dementia with surprising success. Because many patients with Alzheimer’s are able to experience only the present moment, gardening creates a powerful connection to the past and future. Gardening is also an easy distraction, thus aids in keeping our residents from fixating on a certain topic or question, or encouraging them to stop pacing, a garden offers an alternate focus.
“It’s not only about growing flowers in our garden, it’s about growing memories. Bright and blossoming memories.”
Marlene van Niekerk – Managing Director
Tending to a green space, through simple activities like gentle weeding, digging holes for plants, watering, and deadheading, offers the moderate exercise that can help Dementia patients sleep. Fresh air can stimulate appetite, which is often lacking as Alzheimer’s progresses. Gardening also reduces stress and increases Vitamin D.
“Our gardens are constantly growing. Through extensive research and advice from experts, we are currently busy creating the type of garden you wouldn’t want to walk away from. That’s how beautiful, how aromatic and how stimulating it is.
It’s not about creating a garden, it’s about building a playground for the five senses of each of our residents. We’ll have a coffee shop, an aviary, a greenhouse, a tool shed and even an old car that the men can polish and converse about. We’ll have areas for stand-up gardening, potting and getting your hands dirty. We’ll have areas for sitting on antique benches while listening to outdoor background music, watching the birds play and the flowers dance in the gentle breeze. It’s about creating a motivation for living in each and every moment we can, you do that not with a normal garden, but with a magical garden.”
Johannes van Niekerk – Marketing Director