more stimulating for disabled gardeners practicing Horticultural Therapy
Horticultural therapy (HT) is defined as “a process utilizing plants and horticultural activities to improve social, educational, psychological and physical adjustment of persons thus improving their body, mind, and spirit.” American Horticulture Therapy Association.
Children, Adults And Seniors In Care Can All Benefit From Horticultural Therapy
- The influence of the interaction of plants and people in an atmosphere as calming and relaxing as a garden has a positive effect on all participants. When the mind and body are less stressed, physical activities are easier to perform. In special needs schools and assisted living homes, participants can enjoy the social benefits of pleasant conversations, some much needed laughter and making new friends. Also being with a group of people who is also experiencing similar difficulties can be encouraging when seeing how others cope and adjust. A disabled or elderly person who feels isolated from the mainstream of life can greatly benefit from the mental stimulation of a group setting.
- For those who desire to participate as an individual, whether in a Special Education School or Senior Assisted Living home, Horticultural Therapy can give an opportunity to have quiet reflecting time. Individuals can also occupy their thoughts with the task at hand such as planting a seedling, while releasing their mind if even for a brief moment, of an ever-present physical or emotional problem.
- A sense of feeling they have accomplished something, and knowing they are responsible to care and nurture a living plant is very rewarding to many individuals. The sense of personal satisfaction growing a flower gifted from a loved one can have noticeable benefits in creating a sense of well-being.
STIMULATE THE memory recognition THROUGH SITE, TOUCH, SMELL AND TASTE
Growing and caring for plants can be a fulfilling pastime for everybody. In many circumstances plants can have therapeutic effects by stimulating the senses of, eyesight, smell, touch and taste. Sensory Garden Therapy is encouraged by Gp's for dementia care such as Alzheimer's or Cerebral Palsy because interacting with plants can improve memory by remembering "familiar" long lost scents, shapes, colours, and textures. Improving memory by talking about past childhood memories and encouraging conversations about happy events of family and friends. keeping track of our short-term goals. Learning the names of plants and flowers and recalling the names of plants they planted in their own gardens in the past.
Horticultural Therapy can help;
- Decrease Anxiety and Alleviate Depression
- Improve sense of personal worth
- Increase feelings of calm and relaxation
- Increase sense of Stability
- Improve personal satisfaction
- Provides healthier patterns of social functioning
- Improve group cohesiveness
- Increase sense of control
- Increase self-esteem
- Improve Concentration
- Stimulate Memory,
- Improve social integration
- Reduce Stress
- Improve Mood