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Rehabilitation With Healing Gardens - Promoting Positive Attitude for Health And Wellness

Rehabilitation With Healing Gardens - Promoting Positive Attitude for Health And Wellness

Therapeutic Gardens

Horticulture treatment took the form of visualizing, watching, visiting a
hospital healing garden, and, most importantly, actual growing. It was
hoped that it would help people with mental or physical illnesses heal,
reduce stress, improve well-being, and promote social involvement and re-
employment. The Horticultural Therapy Garden was detailed in terms of its
outside design, garden equipment adaptations, cultivation methods, and
plant material.
Gardening is often described as therapy by gardeners, and this evaluation
may be more accurate than you believe. Gardening is wonderful for your
physical health and generates nutritious homegrown foods, but it also has
therapeutic advantages. Mental and emotional wellbeing receive boosts
along the garden route, from relaxation and stress reduction to formal
therapist-directed programs.

The Origins of Therapeutic Gardening in the United States

Gardening has a long and illustrious history in the United States, and its
therapeutic advantages are no exception. Dr. Benjamin Rush, a notable
physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, reported that
garden settings and digging in gardens were important components in the
healing of patients with mental illness in the late 1700s. As a result,
therapeutic landscapes became popular, and gardening as a form of
rehabilitation became popular as well.
The first horticulture treatment curriculum in the United States was
developed in 1972 as part of Kansas State University's mental health
department, some 200 years later. Since then, therapeutic horticulture and
healing gardens have sprung up in places as diverse as hospitals,
schoolyards, and prison sites across the United States. These gardens,
which are sensory-focused, plant-dominated, and brimming with aroma,
color, and texture, can be used for passive enjoyment or activeemployment. Visitors benefit from reduced tension and worry, as well as
enhanced hope and happiness.

Garden settings have a curative quality to them.

Interacting with nature, even if it's just looking at trees or visiting gardens,
can have profound healing effects. Patients recovering from surgery who
looked out their hospital windows at trees recovered more quickly than
those who looked at walls. Not only did tree-viewing patients have shorter
hospital stays, but they also had fewer problems, used fewer painkillers,
and received less negative chart comments from attending personnel.
In one study, simply looking out the window at a garden from a balcony was
proven to boost mood in both sad and non-depressed senior people.
Visiting the garden and walking or sitting in it did even more. Participants
reported feeling less depressed and having improved mood, sleep quality,
and attention, as well as having more peace of mind and hopefulness. Time
spent in a garden setting has also been shown to lessen the usage of
"as-needed" drugs and relieve symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and
dementia, such as hostility and agitation.

Effects of a therapeutic garden

A therapeutic garden is intended to have restorative effects on patients'
mental well-being as well as favorable health consequences. Both passive
and active nature connections improve health and well-being, with positive
results such as stress reduction. Visitors can gain a variety of health
benefits from engaging with nature, including relief from mental tiredness,
reduced stress, and an overall boost in emotional well-being.
The Therapeutic Garden at Thumbay Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
Hospital aims to provide patients with a happy recovery experience. The
rehab garden will assist patients recuperating from stress and promote
health by improving their balance, walking, and other life skills.
The Healing Garden at the University of Miami Rehabilitation &
Orthopaedic Institute engages the entire person:

In Physical ways

  • Mobility, Endurance, Coordination of muscle tone, and Motor
    capabilities (gross/fine)

In Cognitive ways

  • Memory, Attention /Concentration, Task order, and Identification by
    name and color

and in Group Social/Emotional Activity

  • Depression is alleviated through social interaction, Feeling of
    accomplishment, Self-esteem, and Motivation

How to turn your ordinary garden into a rehabilitation garden?

Improve the Look of Your Garden Entrance

To make entering the sanctuary feel unique, use a naturally-styled pathway,
hedge, steps, or fence. Depending on the level of privacy needed, this
border can be soft or rigid.

Make Use of Calming Waters

To produce a calming feeling, a water feature does not need to be
complicated. Even a simple rock bubbler makes pleasant sounds and has
an attractive appearance. A pond or waterfall in a larger location brings
nature's splendor right to your doorstep.

Using Color in a Novel Way

Will you spend time in your sanctuary early in the mornings or late at night?
When natural light is scarce, use low-wattage or LED lighting to bring out
the best in plants and ornamental items. With strategically placed lights, you
can create gorgeous shadows and attract attention to the delicate colors
and textures of your flowers and plants.

Make a place for people to rest.

Choose an area or two that invites guests to relax and spend a long time,
whether it's a single bench or a set of pleasant garden furniture. To make iteasier to kick back and relax, consider adding an outside bookshelf or
blanket box.

Mother Nature should be emulated.

For a sanctuary garden, there is no better design guidance than Mother
Nature. Use a variety of natural elements, such as rocks and boulders,
decorative grasses, wood, shrubs, and flowers, in combination. Do you
have a favorite hiking trail or vantage point? Take a few things home with
you. To achieve the desired effect, combine trees and wildflowers, boulders
and water, or rocks and ferns.

Garden Art

Enhance the natural beauty of your space with a piece of art that
complements the mood you want to create. To retain the aesthetic of your
home in the sanctuary, consider bright ceramic pots, a wind-powered
sculpture, or a whimsical statue

Inviting Lovely Visitors

Attract birds and butterflies by providing habitat and characteristics. Using
native plants pays off in this situation since they are adapted to thrive in the
local environment and provide a safe haven for your neighborhood birds.
Add a birdbath or a feeder to entice your favorite birds to come.

The Building Blocks of a Successful Rehabilitation Garden

According to Jack Carman, president of Design for Generations, and
physical therapist Cheryl Landry, who is also the regional director of Select
Medical Rehabilitation Services, one particular resident story exemplifies
the power of placing seniors in more natural and familiar settings for their
rehabilitation therapy.
A therapist and a resident were wandering around in the rehabilitation
garden in one of the communities where they were working when the
resident turned to his therapist and remarked, "Let's go back inside so I can
complete my therapy and be done for the day."
Unbeknownst to him, the garden environment, with its many walking paths
and benches for practice getting up and down, provided all of thenecessary pieces for him to complete his therapy time—and he didn't even
realize it.
Carmen and Landry provided a few design features that are necessary for
a rehabilitation garden as a preview to their session:

Make it normal: According to Carman, the idea is to make someone feel
like they're in their own neighborhood and to allow them to practice the
skills they'll need to return home. Residents might practice opening a
screen door while holding mail, closing a window while leaning over a shelf,
or putting items on a low-hanging clothes line.

Make it multifunctional: A rehabilitation garden isn't simply for physical
treatment. Instead, these areas can be constructed and used for a range of
purposes, such as occupational, speech, and horticulture treatment, as well
as memory care. “Everything is there for a reason,” Carman explains.
Plants, for example, can be labeled so that residents can wander around
the garden and find them.

Collaboration is critical: Collaborating with the employees, owners,
administrators, and therapists to understand the goals and then integrating
design features that fit those needs is the first step in getting all of the
proper aspects in place. “We want administrators and owners to be happy
with what they have in their facilities, families to know their loved ones are
getting specialized care, and therapists to know they can think outside the
box and that they have the means to do so,” Landry adds.

Imperfections are also important: the real world isn't perfect, and a rehab
garden shouldn’t be either. Landry explains, "We don't want them to learn
to walk on a lovely, smooth surface." “They must always be able to
negotiate and comprehend safety.” It can be beneficial to include a range of
surfaces and realistic scenarios, such as slanting sidewalks or uneven turf.

Location: These outdoor spaces should be adjacent or close to indoor
therapy programs so that residents and therapists can easily reach them.
But their usefulness doesn't end there. Many institutions, according to
Carman, use these gardens to hold events or social activities for their
residents. They can also be a desirable feature for potential residents and
families. “Whether it's long-term care or rehab, facility owners oradministrators are aiming to recruit people to their facility for a variety of
reasons,” Landry explains. “The rehabilitation garden is not only
aesthetically pleasing, but it also serves a practical purpose.”
Healing and Rehabilitation Gardens are incredibly beneficial since they
have been shown to alleviate stress and provide a feeling of well-being.
This results in significant psychological, physiological, and behavioral
benefits, such as decreased anxiety, melancholy, and other negative
moods, lower blood pressure and increased immunological function, and
better adherence to treatment protocols. Gardening can also be a
stress-relieving activity. It is beneficial to your mental health to move your
body. Gardening, in particular, can help you manage stress and improve
your mental health. A 2017 analysis of data found that gardeners had lower
levels of stress, anxiety, and depression than non-gardeners.
Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!

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