Gardening exercises the mind as well as body and provides stimulation for those suffering from mental health issues such as Alzheimer’s. Gardening is one of the best, most addictive ways to exercise for people who are already suffering Alzheimer’s, said a patient with Alzheimer’s about his experience.
According to many Alzheimer’s, gardening gives them peace of mind and keeps them happily occupied in a place where them feels safe and secure. Surprisingly, while the patient can not remember the name of people who they are talking to, they may recognize scores of plants, and is even able to reel off their Latin names. That is really encouragement for both patient and their family.
Sufferers who had choice of gardening as their hobby are motivated at high level to pratice their mind and their body. This hobby can be done at any time, any speed with any creation. If you are in the early stages, you can start developing your garden so it caters for the aspects of gardening that give you the most satisfaction and enjoyment.
We can help Alzheimer’s sufferers to keep their brain active by creating the feeling of a safe sanctuary, while at the same time being stimulating and exciting from gardening. For example, Cleve West’s gold-winning garden at Chelsea in 2008, for Bupa, was all about “exploring the value of outdoor space in terms of how it can enhance wellbeing” and was targeted for people suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. The main purpose of Cleve’s garden was relaxing, but in care homes such as the Wandering Garden in Roanoke County, Virginia, for the Friendship Retirement Community, they also create opportunities for residents to garden.
The purpose of the gardening therapy is to make the patients feel involved with their natural surroundings instead of being alienated by illness. They are surrounded by beautiful fragrances and fresh air, all in a safe environment. Everything is planned to bring a relaxing for them.
Imagine how much happiness and satisfaction you gained from gardening, how enjoyable as growing vegetables or just a wild patch of flowers, a safe wildlife pool, long grass and a low-slung hammock to watch the birds from — anything that pulls you out there.
It is said that fresh air, tranquil environment can be helpful for encouraging patients to express their emotions, they become less worried and more stimulated.
Now, we can choose gardening as an interesting hobby to prevent the risk or development of more severe signs of Alzheimer’s, dementia or even other modern ailments such as cancer, depression, heart problems.
Adapted from Telegraph.co.uk by Bunny Guiness