Dr. Amy Wagenfeld is an occupational therapist, therapeutic design consultant, researcher, educator, and author who focuses on collaboratively designing and researching therapeutic gardens for people of all ages and abilities and how outdoor spaces can be designed to maximize the benefits for those who spend time in them. We interviewed Amy so that our readers can better understand how these healing and therapeutic places can be designed to incorporate a wide body of research to provide positive impacts.
The title caught my attention: Lack of Humility Could Hold Back Senior Housing Providers.
The gist of the article in Senior Housing News was that you can’t be all things to all people. Providers need to learn to partner with others in specialty niches, who can add value to the organization. Don’t be too proud to reach-out to ask for help. Do you really need to do it yourself? No.
A common theme during yesterday's Design for Aging Forum was the importance of bringing the outdoors inside of buildings - introducing natural light, connections to outdoor spaces, and contact with nature all enhance the wellbeing of the building's occupants. I did that myself today - Took it Outside. After walking the Expo floor and attending a mind-expanding session about the future possibilities for "Boom Town", it was so enjoyable to get outdoors to enjoy the natural environment.
The best of times, and the worst of times
The Ocala area is known for its beautiful Oak canopy, rolling hills, and horse farms. But when Irma brushed by, huge trees were downed – unfortunately, they took power lines with them. Upon further review (as they say in the NFL), many of these were Laurel Oaks – a species that has a short lifespan, and often decays from within, causing large limbs to split in a storm.
By 2050, it is projected that 16 million people will be living with dementia (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016), with nearly 90% of these individuals experiencing emotional and behavioral disturbances during the disease process (Cohen-Mansfield, 2008; Kales, Gitlin, & Lyketsos, 2014). These emotions and associated behaviors create great stress for individuals experiencing them and their caregivers (Kales, Gitlin, & Lyketsos, 2014).
Why Plants Should Fear the Shear
So, here we are! The #1 most notorious and costly mistake in landscape maintenance is shearing plants in the landscape. The overuse and misuse of shearing is arguably one of the most common forms of landscape “mismanagement.” While there are a few plants that tolerate shearing (small leaf Boxwoods, Japanese Yew, etc.) most species that are sheared have received premature death sentences. By far shearing is the most prevalent maintenance mistake and is usually the sign of an un-trained and un-knowledgeable maintenance staff. Not only are gas shears bad for plants, their pollution-generating two-cycle engines are bad for the environment.
The Real Story About Jack’s Magic Beans and Why You Don’t Plant Them in a Window Box
No plant is a bad plant. Some plants are simply the wrong plant in the wrong place. So, unless you want a plant next to your house that will grow up to the sky the way Jack’s Magic Beans did, you’ll want to avoid Mistake #2 – “Wrong/Plant Wrong Place.” We see it all the time when we audit a corporate campus or senior living community. Plants that are genetically pre-disposed to grow 20-feet tall and 15-feet wide growing in a small planting area next to a building or adjacent to a busy sidewalk. It always comes down to one of two options: 1) trim it, or 2) move it.
Close your eyes and imagine that you’re sitting in your lush green garden. It’s a shady place for respite and refreshment that is cool, inviting and a relaxing escape. As you sit in this little slice of Eden, you hear the birds in the trees and see butterflies flutter across blossoms of various flowering shrubs and groundcovers. The many foliar textures in the garden have only one thing in common – they’re all various shades of green.