Horticultural therapy activities for the elderly – Garden therapy

Gardening activities for seniors and dementia patients

Horticultural therapy activities for the elderly could be used to improve the global aging population’s quality of life while potentially lowering expenditures for long-term, assisted living, and dementia unit residents. So how can they have those big benefits and what are the most effective horticultural therapy activities for seniors? Let’s Powerpacplus show you in this article.

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Benefits of horticulture therapy for dementia patients

With the increase in age, people also have a lot of health problems. Specifically, to become more vulnerable to physical limitations, poor health, and difficult mental struggles that accompanied these changes. The most visible example is the covid-19 pandemic. The elderly are the most affected by viruses. 

Because of this, methol treatment and health care of the elderly have become an important issue that many people research. One of the many treatments for improving health is thought to be effective gardening therapy.

An article titled “What Is the Evidence to Support the Use of Therapeutic Gardens for the Elderly?” by Mark B. Detweiler demonstrates the benefits of therapeutic gardening. Include:

An effective horticultural program can reduce pain

Spending time in nature can help people perceive pain less strongly. Natural sensory stimulation can actually keep us from noticing unpleasant feelings, both physical and emotional. This provides a natural pain reliever for those suffering from chronic illnesses, lengthy recoveries, joint pain, and so on.

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Patients recovering from surgery who have access to nature not only require less pharmacological pain treatment but also recover significantly faster. Bringing plants inside the hospital room was sufficient to deliver these benefits.

Gardening activities are a pleasurable form of exercise

Gardening is regarded as one of the finest ways for seniors to get some exercise. Planting, trimming, and watering daily, as well as simply walking through a garden, can help individuals keep physically fit by improving muscle activity, coordination, heart and lung health, and flexibility.

Horticultural therapy improves attention

Therapeutic gardening can help you learn how to enhance attention span and concentration. Being immersed in a garden’s colors, textures, fragrances, and noises engages our involuntary attention, allowing the mind to roam and clear itself without producing weariness or tension. Using involuntary attention conserves mental resources and allows us to devote “voluntary” attention when we need to focus.

Reduction in stress

According to research, being in nature can enhance how our bodies respond to stress. Seniors who are stressed out due to health issues, mobility issues, loneliness, or loss might benefit significantly from spending time in the garden. Nature, via growing things and attractive surroundings, creates a sense of serenity and comfort.

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a Horticulture program helps stimulate the senses

Therapeutic gardens often incorporate a variety of plants to encourage visual, olfactory, and tactile stimulation, as well as to attract birds and butterflies. Trees may also give shelter, color, seasonal change, and music when the leaves rustle in the breeze. Walking pathways increase activity and plant touch.

Empowerment

Working in a garden might help elders feel more in control of their life. For many people, aging means becoming more reliant on others, which can influence their self-esteem. However, caring for live things provides seniors freedom since they know that their actions might cause things to develop. They can experience a sense of success as they watch their flowers blossom or their vegetables mature.

Social interaction

Gardens are fantastic instruments for strengthening social communication skills. Residents of an assisted living facility, for example, who cultivate together have so many possibilities for connection, especially when their garden provides them with both tangible and symbolic common ground! 

They may share the flowers, herbs, and vegetables they cultivate with the community, linking residents to caretakers, cooks, visitors, and one other.

Gardening activities for older people

There are several activities related to gardening that elderly persons may enjoy. These are some examples:

Digging, planting a family tree

Planting trees is a practical activity that gives people with dementia a feeling of purpose. Your elderly mom can help you and your grandkids plant a tree in the backyard.

More contact between you and your loved one, establish ties with the rest of the family and create memories to enjoy for a lifetime by assisting in tree planting at home. When planting the tree, make sure your lover were take care of one is wearing protective gloves and other safety gear.

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Growing Fruits & Vegetables

Even if your loved one has limited movement, you may discover enjoyable and meaningful activities for him or her to participate in, such as watering the plants as you plant fruits and vegetables in the garden. 

Garden-grown foods and spices may enhance brain wellbeing. Antioxidants included in leafy green vegetables and berries help boost cognitive performance and general quality of life.

Smelling, touching, looking, listening, and remembering are all examples of sensory enjoyment.

Your loved one can look at birds, and plants that come to the garden and adjacent regions while sitting in the garden. Bird-watching may be a beneficial gardening activity for elders with dementia since it helps them to recollect and relax.

The sounds of birds singing can evoke memories and reduce anxiety. The various noises made by birds can also provide sensory stimulation, which is important for improving the quality of life of persons with dementia.

Making Picture Art

Encourage your loved one to paint the garden figures or make collages out of plant leaves. Many creative art activities that increase cognitive abilities and create a sense of success can be inspired by the variety of plants. 

Making picture art gives your loved one the ability to choose, which benefits his or her emotional and mental health. Using one’s artistic ability can also help to alleviate feelings of despair and loneliness, both of which are common in Alzheimer’s patients.

Arrangement of Flowers

Simply sitting in the yard or arranging flowers can provide therapeutic effects, and mental stimulation and reduce stress in older persons with dementia. After your loved one has assisted you in selecting flowers from the garden, look for lovely vases to showcase on the kitchen table and counter. 

Even if your loved one has difficulties remembering the activity, arranging flowers may create a sense of intimacy with family and friends. The goal is to give an experience that your loved one may enjoy in the present.

Organizing a cooking program with vegetables in the garden

Preparing a simple meal with the results of a garden is also about experiencing meaning for the elderly. It’s wonderful to enjoy the fresh air and good food. For safekeeping, however, relatives or caregivers must keep the cooking process in check. There is nothing inconvenient or dangerous

How do you make a dementia-friendly garden?

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Gardening health considerations for residents with dementia

When older people labor in the garden, some physical, mental, and age-related issues must be recognized, but they should not prohibit people from enjoying the garden. These are some examples:

  • Skin fragility and thinning make older adults more prone to bumps, bruising, and sunburn.
  • Changes in the structure of the eye lens, loss of peripheral vision, and generally impaired eyesight might limit activities.
  • Dementia and other comparable illnesses may have an impact on mental health, reasoning, and memory capacities.
  • Susceptibility to temperature variations and a proclivity to dehydrate or suffer from heat exhaustion are significant concerns for older adults participating in outdoor physical exercise.
  • Falls are more prevalent as a result of poor balance. Osteoporosis and arthritis can limit mobility and flexibility.

Equipment and garden modifications for the elderly

Garden areas, tools, and equipment can be adjusted or altered to help older individuals lessen the physical stress involved with gardening. Here are some ideas you need to care

  • Try utilizing wall and trellis gaps to make garden beds accessible for planting and harvesting.
  • Raising beds allows those with physical disabilities to avoid bending and stooping.
  • Creating moveable and raised garden beds using retractable hanging baskets, wheelbarrows, and containers on castors
  • Locating equipment – accessible at several hardware stores
  • Modifying current equipment using foam, tape, and plastic tubing to improve grip
  • Using lightweight, easier-to-manage tools
  • Offering shaded spaces for working throughout the summer
  • Having sturdy seats and tables for gardening comfort
  • Ensuring that there is a nearby tap or considering installing a drip feeder system for convenient watering

Garden safety for senior

The following are some safety precautions that elderly adults (and their caregivers) should take:

  • Treat any cuts, bruises, or bug bites right away.
  • Use power tools with caution.
  • If memory loss is an issue, secure gates, and fences.
  • Make sure that the paths and walkways are level and non-slip.
  • Warm up before you start gardening, and take frequent pauses.
  • Work in the garden early in the morning or late in the day to avoid sun exposure. Wear a hat and apply sunscreen regularly.
  • Avoid alcohol by drinking water or juice.
  • Wear protective footwear, lightweight clothing that covers exposed skin, a cap, and gardening gloves.
  • You should care about the safety of your gardening tools

If time and work do not always allow you to be with someone you love, hiring a gardening therapist for nursing is an effective treatment at home. It’s also appropriate that you focus on privacy. On the other hand, the horticultural programs are a good idea when older people form a group to do therapy and talk together

FAQs

Gardening is a terrific method for elders to obtain regular exercise, lubricate joints, and enhance mobility. Seniors can also stretch after gardening to reduce the chance of injury, promote blood circulation, improve balance and coordination, and improve muscular control.

Horticultural treatment programs are available in a wide range of hospital, rehab, and residential settings. Therapeutic horticulture is a procedure that uses plants and plant-related activities to help individuals enhance their well-being through active or passive participation.

Plant propagation and nurturing are used in horticulture to promote plant growth, yields, quality, nutritional value, and tolerance to insects, diseases, and environmental challenges.

Fragrant plant beds, such as lavender, which is recognized for its calming properties, lemon sage, mint, lemon balm, jasmine, or heritage roses, are simple methods to add aroma to the air and engage the senses.

If you are interested in about therapy garden ideas, we highly recommend you read on Garden Projects Yummy Recipes Crafty Goodness, then you can make your own creative garden.

So, these are horticultural therapy activities for the senior Powerpacplus who wants to share this with you. I hope this article gives you some good information. Follow our website for updates on more interesting topics and search for what you want to know.

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