Are gardens good for you?
Spending time outside in a garden has been shown to positively affect a person’s emotions and improve their sense of well-being. Access to nature has been shown to balance circadian rhythms, lower blood pressure, reduce stress and increase absorption of Vitamin D naturally. The important message is that nature is beneficial to our overall health and well-being. We are all connected to nature and it is important to maintain that vital connection.
Aren’t all gardens therapeutic?
While all natural settings have the potential to heal, therapeutic gardens are designed to meet specific physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of certain patient populations. . Evidence-based studies guide the design of a garden based upon the best research that is available and show that therapeutic gardens improve patients’ quality of life and facilitate healing. Many times therapeutic gardens help to lower health care costs.
What are examples of therapeutic gardens?
- Alzheimer’s gardens
- Rehab gardens
- Senior community gardens
- Cancer patient therapeutic gardens
- Meditation gardens
- Residential gardens
What is an Alzheimer’s Garden?
Alzheimer’s Gardens, also known as dementia gardens and wander gardens, are customarily developed as part of senior residential communities and adult day care facilities. These gardens are specifically designed to meet the needs of individuals with memory impairment. Dementia gardens are enclosed spaces with smooth level pathways, non-glare surfaces, non-toxic and non-injurious plants, and familiar home-like features, such as wind chimes, birdbaths or a garden bench to sit on and enjoy the flowers. These garden features are very important because they have the potential to trigger positive emotions and memories from a person’s past. The smell of basil can elicit wonderful feelings of a family cooking Sunday dinner. Maybe fresh lavender placed in a bureau drawer will remind someone of a happy childhood. The use of familiar elements within a garden can have positive effects and help the person using the garden actively engage with the outdoor world around them.
Are healing gardens different?
‘“Healing gardens” are a type of therapeutic garden. Healing gardens are typically designed in partnership with specialized healthcare facilities, such as cancer centers, pediatric hospitals, and treatment centers for post traumatic stress disorders, to name a few.
What goes into designing a therapeutic garden?
Therapeutic gardens are ideally a collaborative effort. They are created by a team of healthcare professionals, caregivers and if appropriate, the patients or residents themselves, all lead by an experienced licensed landscape architect.