When most people think of ways to help those suffering from dementia or other problems affecting cognition, gardening might not immediately come to mind. But spending time in a quiet, peaceful garden can have a substantial impact on a person’s quality of life. Special gardens have been proven to have therapeutic benefits.
Why is this?
Research shows that gardening helps people with cognition issues get a better night’s sleep and gives them more energy. There are a lot of potential reasons why this is the case.
One possibility is that getting some sunshine helps improve mood and lowers agitation and aggression. Gardening provides a distraction from the everyday challenges faced by those with dementia, and gives them a sense of ownership. When people tend to a garden, they have to be meticulous. This could help people retain their cognitive skills – and in some cases, help them regain some of those skills they’ve lost.
Designing a Special Garden
If you are thinking of creating a garden for someone with a cognitive issue, the first consideration will be safety. All of the plants must be edible, and there should never be any plants with thorns or sharp leaves. Never use any herbicides or pesticides, and don’t make any sharp or dangerous tools available.
There should be a walking path to the garden made out of materials that dry quickly. This will minimize the risk of slipping. The path should be well-lighted and wide. If possible, have handrails installed on the sides.
Eden Memory Care offers gardening for our residents, giving them a sense of confidence and peace that is crucial to their well being. Contact us online or call (281) 935-9115 to learn more about the services we provide.