Filed under: Aging in place, Alzheimer Residence, Assisted Living, Baby Boomers, Community Gardens, Continue Care Retirement Communities, Gardening, Healing Gardens, Horticultural Therapy, Landscape Architecture, landscape design, Meditation Gardens, Organic gardens, Restorative gardens, Senior Environment Assessment, Senior Living, Successful Aging, Sustainability, Sustainable design, Therapeutic Gardens, Uncategorized
Just reading a recent article in the McKnights.con Daily Updates about the report about seniors creating the worlds largest tea cozy! “Residents at more than 300 Bupa care nursing homes from New Zealand to Spain to England sent in hand-made patches for the tea cozy—a padded covering for a teapot to keep the contents hot. Residents at Bupa nursing homes in Hertfordshire, UK, assembled the giant tea cozy, securing the seniors a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, according to the Watford Observer. The tea cozy reportedly measures nearly 13 feet tall, more than 36 feet in circumference and is comprised of 1,924 squares of wool which, if unraveled, would span more than 40 miles in length.”
Think what would happen if we unleashed the gardening talents of seniors to help plant extra vegetables for the needy. This is the generation that grew up on ‘Victory Gardens’ and have the technical expertise to raise vegetables for good causes. Community garden programs are taking off in a big way. What can’t we enlist the help of older adults living in senior residences to plant tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers for people in need of help.
The network of organizations is there is help collect and distribute the produce. Groups such as PhilAbundance (http://www.philabundance.org) are dedicated to ending hunger through programs called “Fresh for All”. Philabundance estimates that there are approximately 900,000 people in the Delaware Valley that may need help with food. Through our 600+ agency network, food is distributed to approximately 65,000 people every week.
The Garden Writers Association (http://www.gardenwriters.org) have a program called Plant A Row for the Hungry. The purpose of PAR is to create and sustain a grassroots program whereby garden writers utilize their media position with local newspapers, magazines and radio/TV programs to encourage their readers/listeners to donate their surplus garden produce to local food banks, soup kitchens, and service organizations to help feed America’s hungry. PAR’s role is to provide focus, direction, and support to volunteer committees who execute the programs at the local level.
Consider starting a Community Garden Program that will truly help the community. The benefits are many – for the community who will receive freash locally grown produce and for the older adults who continue to be a vital part of their community. Besides, what is everyone going to do with all of this zucchini during the summer! There are only so many door sills that you can deposit them on.
Filed under: Alzheimer Residence, Assisted Living, Baby Boomers, Continue Care Retirement Communities, Gardening, Healing Gardens, Horticultural Therapy, Hospice Residence, Landscape Architecture, landscape design, Meditation Gardens, Restorative gardens, Senior Living, Successful Aging, Sustainability, Therapeutic Gardens, Uncategorized
“Integrated Medicine looks at the body as a garden”, according to Birgit Rakel, MD, who was a keynote speaker at the Healing Gardens Conference held at Medford Leas CCRC, Medford, NJ on April, 23, 2009. Dr. Rakel is a board certified in family medicine and is a faculty member of the Jefferson Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. In her talk “Nature and the Prescription for Wellness”, Dr. Rakel shared her insights into the challenges that face an aging population and provided ideas for incorporating the benefits of nature into therapeutic programs and senior living communities. Her treatment strategies combine state-of-the-art conventional medicine with herbal and nutritional supplementation.
A large part of Dr. Rakel’s practice has been to focus on the needs of older adults. “Complimentary and Alternative Medicine for Older Adults” is the recent publication that she and Elizabeth R. Mackenzie, Ph.D. have edited as a guide to holistic approaches to healthy aging. The book is a helpful guide to issues addressing a variety of treatments, including art and music, massage, acupuncture, meditation, homeopathy, ayurveda, aromatherapy and therapeutic gardens. The information provides reliable and authoritative information on complimentary and alternative therapies that older adults can use to improve their health and quality of life.
Additional information on the publication can be found at: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=38055
Filed under: Aging in place, Assisted Living, Baby Boomers, Community Gardens, Continue Care Retirement Communities, Gardening, Healing Gardens, Horticultural Therapy, Landscape Architecture, landscape design, Organic gardens, Restorative gardens, Senior Living, Successful Aging, Sustainability, Therapeutic Gardens
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article by Neal Templin, growing our own vegetables is cost effective. The article “How much Green Can Growing A Vegetable Garden Save You?” (4-16-09) highlights the ability to achieve a sizeable return on your investment.
“The nonprofit National Gardening Association just produced a study — sponsored by ScottsMiracle-Gro Co. — that found the average family with a vegetable garden spends just $70 a year on it and grows an estimated $600 worth of vegetables. George Ball, chairman and CEO of seed giant Burpee, can rattle off the savings for dozens of homegrown crops. Green beans will generate $75 worth of crops for each $1 you spend on seeds, Mr. Ball calculates. Even the lowly potato will generate $5 of spuds for each $1 you invest in seeds.”
The trick is keeping your capital costs down. Lori Bushway of Cornell University’s Department of Horticulture says a garden can be as simple as digging up a few square feet of your lawn and sprinkling lettuce seeds in the dirt.
Most anywhere grass can grow, lettuce will grow, she says. What about fertilizer? Not needed. What about weeds? Plant the lettuce tight enough, and there won’t be room for any. This simple garden will fill salad bowls for about six weeks. Ms. Bushway advises planting four square feet of lettuce per person in your household.
“You can easily triple your investment,” she says. That’s better than any of my mutual funds have done lately. Break out the olive oil.
The link to the article is at:
Filed under: Aging in place, Alzheimer Residence, Assisted Living, Baby Boomers, Gardening, Healing Gardens, Horticultural Therapy, Landscape Architecture, landscape design, Organic gardens, Restorative gardens, Senior Environment Assessment, Senior Living, Successful Aging, Sustainable design, Therapeutic Gardens
The NPR program “Talk of the Nation” this afternoon, April 2, focused on the Green House Program with Dr. Bill Thomas. Dr. Thomas discussed the many benefits of the ‘Green House’ communities, one of which is that people remain “in contact with nature and the smell of the outdoors.” The Green House web site indicates a goal to help “elders and others enjoy excellent quality of life and quality of care; where they, their families, and the staff engage in meaningful relationships built on equality, empowerment, and mutual respect.” The link to the NPR program Talk of the nation and the interview with Dr. Thomas is at:
I have visited the Green House in Lincoln, Nebraska and it is a very special place. The design of the house is to foster independence and help eliminate lonliness and boredom. The link to the Tabitha Green House Program is at:
One of the many important aspects of the Green House residences is the easy access to the outdoor environment. Elders can easily walk out the back door onto the patio and spend time talking with other residents or gardening. They can sit on the front porch and watch all that happens in the neighborhood. There is a great need to focus attention on creating appropriate outdoor environments for older adults and all of the activities that they will enjoy. Outdoor areas, such as patios, decks, vegetable gardens, butterfly gardens, etc. are as important as any of the interior rooms of a residence. There should be a seamless transition, visually and physically, between the interior and exterior areas of a home.