A Mindful Garden: What to Put in a Garden for Alzheimer's Sufferers
Do you know someone that suffers from Alzheimer's disease? Are you exploring ways in which you can help to improve their life and hopefully their condition? Then, if you have the space, you should consider creating a garden for them. According to research, gardening can reduce the risk of dementia, of which Alzheimer's is the most common cause, by 50 percent.
And that's not the only benefit. Design your garden well, and an Alzheimer's gardener will benefit in a number of ways. If you are thinking of designing a garden for a friend or relative who has Alzheimer's, remember to add the following things.
Raised Garden Beds
Since most sufferers of Alzheimer's are seniors over the age of 65, it makes sense to install raised garden beds. A raised garden bed provides easy access to gardening plots while reducing the strain of gardening. Make sure to add seating areas to your raised garden beds too, such as benches to allow your friend or relative — and their friends — to sit as they work.
An Assortment of Plant Types
Did you know that stress speeds up the onset of Alzheimer's disease? Fortunately, gardening reduces stress levels, not just for Alzheimer's sufferers but for anyone that does it. And one reason for that is the sounds, sensations and fragrances that come with gardening. This is why it is important to provide your friend or relative with as much opportunity for stimulation as possible. You can do that by providing a variety of plants, each with their own particular sensory treasure. Try creating separate sections, each geared toward its own sense.
Do you know what kind of scents your friend or relative likes? Smells can remind a person of happy times gone by. Add plants like the following to provide olfactory pleasure.
- Scented geranium
You can dedicate this section of the garden to your relative or friend's favorite colours, plants and trees. Make sure you sit down with them and go over their favorite colours, flowers and plants so you can get a good idea of what to plant in this area. You should also take them to a local wholesale nursery where they can choose plants themselves.
This section concerns safety as well as pleasure. Ensure that you avoid thorny plants or plants that sting. Instead, try to include a variety of textures. The following list will give you a good idea of what to put here.
- Mint-scented geranium (soft)
- Lambs ears (soft and furry)
- Silver sage (large and furry)
- Philodendron (soft and leathery)
You don't have to grow these plants from seed either. You can create your Alzheimer's garden in a day or two if you buy these plants from a local wholesale nursery.