Horticultural Therapy Helps Dementia Patients

Source: ABC Sunshine Coast (http://www.abc.net.au/) by Kylie Bartholomew

7376264-3x2-700x467Five older folk sit huddled around a patio table on a sunny Thursday morning. From the outside they look like any group of keen gardeners.

But they are not. They have dementia. And this is horticulture therapy.

 Horticultural therapist Cath Manuel is using gardening to enrich the lives of patients living with dementia on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Once a week she leads a group of up to six patients and two volunteers to plant seedlings or tend to a sensory garden at Carramar aged care facility at Tewantin.

“If they’ve gardened a lot in the past, we give them pots and tools and they know exactly what to do,” Ms Manuel said.  “But some of the others in the group just need that help because from step one to two, they can sometimes forget what step one was.”

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