Memory gardens are fast becoming common features in nursing homes and senior living facilities throughout the nation. A memory garden is a special outdoor area that offers multiple forms of stimuli for aging adults. The visual, tactile, olfactory, and auditory stimulation these creations provide can be especially beneficial for those who are living with memory loss and degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
Seniors with dementia can optimize their quality of life with the help of a highly trained, experienced professional caregiver. If your senior loved one needs professional dementia care, Calgary caregivers are available around the clock to provide the high-quality care he or she needs. Using the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, dementia caregivers can help your loved one stay mentally engaged and delay the progression of the disease.
Read on to learn about some of the history and wonderful benefits of therapeutic gardens for older adults.
The Use of Horticulture in Therapy
Horticulture therapy dates as far back as 2000 BCE, when it was used in Mesopotamia as a means of calming the senses. Dr. Benjamin Rush lauded the benefits of horticulture in therapy in 1812. More recent studies suggest garden therapy can reduce agitation among those with dementia, making these outdoor additions more than worthwhile for caregivers who are living with elderly parents with some form of memory condition.
Seniors with cognitive issues often need assistance with everyday activities so they can age in place in safety and comfort. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
The Benefits of a Memory Garden
There are a number of positive actions and emotions a well-designed memory garden can promote. These spaces can be used for socializing, dining outdoors, exercising, interacting with pets, telling stories, doing crafts, and more. Some studies even show these gardens are capable of limiting the physical effects of conditions that lead to reduced mobility or immobility, including osteoporosis, incontinence, and even muscular atrophy.
Gardens that have continuous paths can also restore a sense of autonomy by giving people with short- and long-term memory loss the ability to wander freely without becoming lost or disoriented. The addition of landmarks and activity zones can enhance both mood patterns and pacing. Best of all, these settings can also stimulate long-term memories, especially when seniors engage in gardening activities such as raking, weeding, or picking flowers. The positive feelings memory gardens produce can even promote increased engagement and reality orientation.
Helping Your Aging Loved One
No matter where your loved ones lives, he or she could enjoy a number of therapeutic and neurological benefits from having access to the peaceful, serene setting of a memory garden. Start by planting a few flowers in the backyard, or look for local gardens where you can take your loved one on a regular basis. Doing so can boost memory as well as cognitive and physical health.
If your loved one is living with cognitive decline, having a trained professional caregiver close by can provide you and your family with much-needed peace of mind. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Calgary families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at 403-301-3777.