Gardening is potentially a “long-term” memory for our residents with dementia because many of us grew up in families who enjoyed vegetable and flower gardens. Gardening is a meditative, calming, physical, spiritual, and social activity with tangible results to enjoy. Its “grounding” effect can be held individually or with a small group.
It is helpful to connect individuals living with dementia to their long-term memories. When we connect with our residents’ long-term memories, we allow them space to be comfortable in a location where they feel confident and valued. By seeking information and knowing their life histories, we can help them thrive through sharing the stories that shaped them.
Here at The Boulevard Senior Living – St. Charles, MO, we plan to celebrate and participate in National Gardening Month by spending time daily chatting about our brown, dormant courtyard that will look pretty in the spring and summer. We’ll talk with and interview residents about their favorite vegetables and flowers to plant and harvest. Plans are to sketch a garden map of our courtyard, so we’ll have a visual representation that will help us plan this year’s garden layout.