Everyone welcomes the warm weather, sunshine, and new life that happens this time of year. All around the area, you can see people preparing their gardens for spring planting. Trees and shrubs are beginning to bud, and soon the landscape will be dotted with colorful flowers. Gardening is one activity that helps keep the mind active and engages people who otherwise may not be very inclined to socialize.
Gardening’s Effect on Patients with Dementia
One main concern for dementia patients is their quality of life. Living with dementia can be frustrating and unnerving. Calming activities can have a big impact on the life of someone living with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. Green spaces have been shown to benefit many individuals in different ways. Gardens have been used to help people feel better and function better.
While the act of working the soil and planting has a positive effect on people, spending time enjoying a garden can help too. Gardens and parks lower stress levels and can increase energy. Research shows that being in green spaces can lower the stress hormone cortisol and decrease symptoms of depression. Another benefit is lowered blood pressure and better sleep.
Alzheimer’s and dementia patients tend to socialize more and have lower levels of agitation and aggression when allowed to enjoy green spaces. Gardening outside allows the patient more time in the sun, which can help increase bone density and lift moods. It also supports increased physical activity, and for some individuals, gardening can actually increase the ability to learn or regain lost skills.
Spending time in a garden is a relaxing and rewarding experience. As spring gains a foothold and flowers begin to bloom, the sights and aromas that gardens offer raise the spirits and soothe the soul. Take time to stop and smell the flowers, sit and enjoy them and let the newness of the season work its magic.
Come see how our residents at Gianna Homes are enjoying our summer gardens!