Dementia patients benefit from garden therapy

There’s nothing new about the fact that gardening is good for you.  But it’s been proven that, for dementia patients, the outdoors and a bit of digging can provide huge benefits.

The alternative, as many patients are experiencing, is 24-hour indoor care in hospital wards under the control of powerful sedatives and drugs.  However, the lack of joy and stimulation that the situation provides in their lives not only creates challenging behaviour and costs the state a great deal, but also increases the decline in their cognitive abilities.

Fortunately, there is recognition that symptoms can be transformed through access to daylight, exercise and a change of scene – all of which gardening provides.

An article on the BBC website, describes how one 79-year old man, Donald Stewart, had been suffering with Alzheimers for five years.  The local Potager Garden of Kinross accepted him, and his wife describes the place as a “god-send”.  The key benefit is that Donald feels “wanted and necessary”.

So if you have friends or relatives with dementia, take them out into your garden – and see both them and your flowers flourish.

Author: Robert Smith