Filed under: Aging in place, Alzheimer Residence, Assisted Living, 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
One of the ways to extend the summer season is to take cuttings of the annuals in your garden. Look around the garden and see what plants are doing good. One of the favorites to use for cuttings are Coleus because they are very easy to root. They are great for use as indoor plants because they are multi-colored and have a range of leaf shapes.
This is a great activity for a horticultural therapist, activity professional or others working with older adults looking for a fall project that can last throughout the winter months. Be sure to take the cuttings from smaller stems and be sure to do it before the first frost. (They are considered a tender perennial, however, they are treated mostly as an annual). An easy way to get the plants to establish a root system is to place the cuttings in water and be sure to change the water frequently.
Once they have set out roots, the Coleus cuttings can be transferred to a pot. It would be good to plant one per pot, so they have a chance to grow full and balanced. Plant them in a light weight, sterilized, quick drainning potting soil mixture. (Decorating pots can be another activty). Be sure to place the newly potted plants in a south facing window sill. Keep the soil moist and be sure to not let it get soggy. A little liquid fertilizer once a month can be helpful (be sure to follow direction carefully and not over fertilize). These plants will be great for starting new plants for your garden next season. So, get your garden clippers and get started!
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, Sustainable design, Therapeutic Gardens
The article “Quick and Not So Dirty: No-Sweat Composters” by Gwendolyn Bounds in today’s Wall Street Journal offers a number of interesting options for composting. The articles author describes and ‘test drives’ a few of the various of indoor and outside composters currently available. The market place is catching up to public interest and creating models that appeal to a variety of needs. Ms. Bounds has a great video that accompanies the article (worth watching!) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704107204574471330808326984.html?mod=djemLifeStyleh
This growing interest in composting definitely applies to senior living communities. I have talked with the residents of a various senior communities who are taking up the charge and developing compost programs. Heron Point, a continue care retirement community in Chestertown, MD, has implemented a compost program and it is resident led. Compost bins have been set up in the independent living residential courts, so they are accessible and convenient. All of the compost that is created is used in the community vegetable garden. One of the other goals of the residents is to reduce the amount of compostable food waste collected from the dining service kitchen. So, the vegetable food scraps will be collected and added to a general compost bin for use in the community garden, also.
Filed under: Aging in place, Alzheimer Residence, Assisted Living, Community Gardens, Continue Care Retirement Communities, Gardening, Healing Gardens, Horticultural Therapy, Organic gardens, Restorative gardens, Senior Living, Successful Aging, Sustainability, Sustainable design, Therapeutic Gardens
Various programs are are being developed to help Veterans connect with nature. A program in the United Kingdom, “‘Gardening Leave”, utilizes nature as a vehicle for various therapeutic modalities. The gardens that have been created provide structure, routine and exercise for former military persons. The Gardening Leave web site indicates that “using the ethos of horticultural therapy, veterans will benefit from improving their social skills by engaging them in conversation and improve their personal skills such as appearance, health and fitness” – http://www.gardeningleave.org
In the US, the VA Hospitals have been utilizing the benefits of horticultural therapy through a variety of programs. There are green houses where veterans can participate in activities. Raised planters allow many of the veterans with disabilities to participate in a wide range of garden related events. Some VA Hospitals have plant nurseries where the Veterans can grow many of the plants that are installed within the community.
Horticultural Therapists have been developing these and other horticulture programs that provide healing for the Veterans and their family members. Programs include activities for Veterans with Alzheimer’s disease, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), and other illnesses. The horticulture programs are used to help those individuals who are in need of job training or who may be homeless. There is a great need to focus more attention on this subject in order to increase the number of programs in VA communities.
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, Therapeutic Gardens, Uncategorized
We keep reading more and more about how important sunshine is for our health. Low levels of vitamin D double the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Low levels of the sunshine vitamin can increase the chance of developing high blood pressure and chronic blood vessel inflammation. As many as 75% of Americans may not be getting enough vitamin D for optimal health. People who are 50 years or older are more susceptible to this deficiency.
Vitamin D is found in foods, such as sardines, salmon, fortified milk and cereals. Another solution is to sit in the sun for a short time. Some doctors are recommending 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure a few times a week, depending upon a persons skin pigmentation.
A Harvard study discovered that men with the highest level of vitamin D were least likely to have heart attacks. Another study has found that increasing Vitamin D reduces the risk of colorectal cancer, hip fractures, tooth loss and increases muscle strength.
A good way to help increase levels of vitamin D is to spend time in the garden. A Therapeutic Garden that has been specifically designed to encourage people to spend time outside will help people increase their levels of vitamin D. These gardens can encourage socialization and people will want to be outside enjoying each others company and taking in the suns healing rays. This is especially important for older adults who may have lower levels of this important vitamin.
Like your mother said – ‘Eat your vegetables and go play outside.’