We do a lot of work in the realm of Assisted Living and Memory Care residences. One of our goals is to provide opportunities for autonomy and sensory stimulation – getting outdoors for exercise, a breath of fresh air, decrease stress, and to help stabilize sleep/wake cycles. “ . . . exposure to nature has been associated with reduction in pain, improvement in attention and modulation of stress responses. In addition, some studies have reported that having free access to an outdoor area may reduce some agitated behaviors, medications, and falls in dementia residents.”
Creating gardens that are targeted to the needs of those who will be using these spaces is an important ingredient to success. The American Horticultural Therapy Association cites a number of benefits associated with the practice, helping to improve:
- Cognitive abilities
- Language skills
“In Physical rehabilitation, horticultural therapy can help strengthen muscles and improve coordination, balance, and endurance. In vocational horticultural therapy settings, people can learn to work independently, problem solve, and follow directions.”
I recently stumbled upon a piece by CNN in their Staying Well series that describes the special bond between plants and people by highlighting one man’s journey. Check it out.
 Psychiatry Investigation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3372556/ accessed 8/20/18
 American Horticultural Therapy Association, https://www.ahta.org/what-is-horticultural-therapy accessed 8/20/18
Brad Smith Associates, Inc. is a mold-breaking exterior planning and design firm serving the aging services industry. Our approach puts people first, focusing on their unique needs while cultivating a deep sense of community. That is done by using a rational problem-solving method, infused with Imaginality™, combining the five key components of PLACE-Creation into our designs:
Planning - Applied foresight to achieve your project goals
Lifestyle - Delivering a better result for people by understanding their needs and lifestyles
Aesthetics - The aesthetics of a property speak to the "brand essence", greatly affecting marketing.
Community - a sense of meaning, identity and belonging for the people living there
Economics - informed decision-making on the front end during the design process can yield significant dividends on the back end (by reducing ongoing operations and maintenance costs).
We're landscape architects and planners by profession, and we love putting our talents to work to create value for you.
Let's change the way you think about Landscape Design. Learn what the research is telling us about how outdoor spaces impact marketing, well-being, resident satisfaction, referrals, and dementia care. Click the link below to read our free e-book.
We also recommend you read Therapeutic Garden Characteristics from American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA)