Looking after plants helps Elders lead happier lives.
Being in the garden helps Elders to focus their attention on objescts of beauty in nature. It relaxes them and brings back memories form their childhood, making them young at heart again. The happiness they gain from such activities makes them want to spend a good amount of time in the garden, thus increasing their physical well-being as well. Seniors normally feel dependent after a certain period of time. But plants can help them to feel independent. The experience increases their self-worth, too. The fragrance and aroma of different plants and flowers helps them to calm down if stressed. This bond with nature will give them a peaceful and relaxing life. Here is an interesting article that I read in recent days which talks about “Therapeutic garden gives seniors a purpose”.
“Dorothy Braun, with the assistance of her walker, walks after breakfast into the centre courtyard of Tabor Village’s complex care home to check on the growth of the tomatoes. She picks a ripe cherry tomato and smiles as she bites into a burst of flavours filling her tastebuds.
She then walks to a custom-made wheelchair-accessible raised flower bed to water the blooming dahlia flowers she planted with a specialized hand-held spray wand that she is able to turn on and off independently. By lunchtime, she sits in lounge furniture outside on the covered patio with other seniors enjoying an outdoor barbecue that included herbs from the newly created chef’s garden.
Four-foot-by-two-foot raised planter beds fill the therapeutic garden containing miniature shrubs and perennial flowers with accessible watering wands and gardening tools. Tomato plants climb vertical strings outside the windows of seniors’ bedrooms that surround the garden courtyard. A chef’s garden is full of herbs. Another flower bed is home to roses and another with dahlias. At the other end of the garden, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and more tomatoes attract elderly gardeners.”
I have seen my grandmother being around the garden most of the time. She used to do a lot of work in her kitchen garden and flower garden, but the thing that fascinated me was that I would never see her tired. She was always happy and relaxed. And she was the only person who was so happy always in our family. Her love and care for the plants are unmeasurable. Everyday she made sure that all of her plants were happy and healthy. Through her my passion for plants started growing each day. Like it reads in the article,
“Through garden therapy, older adults can focus on living things, outside of themselves. Often if a senior is in the role of a resident in a nursing home or the recipient of care, they begin to play a dependent role, whereas if a senior is the person who grows something living that responds to the care, the senior becomes empowered.
When seniors become involved in the creative arts therapies, they are creating something that is really unique to them. Art, music and horticultural therapies help seniors feel they are engaged in life and doing something purposeful.”
Seniors having physical problems get stressed out and depressed very soon. This will lead them to think negatively. Negative thoughts surely will make them become weaker. But plants have the magic of changing their emotions and will help them to think positively. This is well said in the article:
“Seniors who practice gardening know that, despite their often debilitating physical and psychological conditions, their handiwork with plants produces beautiful outcomes. They are reminded that nature is always transforming.
They learn living things are dependent on them to be nurtured to sustain them, perhaps one part of their lives where they are completely autonomous and independent.
The self-actualization and effect on quality of life is not lost on seniors.
As Dorothy says: “I go to the garden often, sit in a chair and relax with beauty all around me. The flowers and water features are absolutely magnificent.” ”
CREDITS: Dan Levitt
ArtyPlantz is conducting workshops and one to one consultation on Horticultural Therapy for various populations. If you want to know more about, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or give a call at 8762679127.