Therapeutic Gardens

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Nature can be good for patients with chronic disease or disabilities. A garden becomes a “therapeutic garden” when it is used as part of an integrated approach to medical care.
Creating a garden adapted to different handicaps using hortitherapy which compliments the treatments used by trained professionals can bring a sense of well- being to patients who are handicapped or suffering from a chronic disease. Among the primary benefits for those who use them :

  • Opening towards the outside world
  • Facilitator of physical exercises
  • Sense of escape, distraction
  • Improvement of humor
  • Decline in anxiety and stress
  • Increased resilience

A therapeutic garden must be conceived , adapted to and integrated into the treatment of the patients, taking into account different recommendations from hospital psychiatrists, gerontologists, pediatricians, and cancer centers as well as from structures outside the hospital—such as Adult Day Centers, Alzheimer Units, etc. A multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary cooperation is necessary to assure addressing the specific objectives and concerns of each sector. Maintenance, patient needs, staff and visitor needs all must be evaluated in considering the allotted space potential so as to create a perennial and adapted garden. This evaluation must follow the planning stage in order to verify that all sectors (patients, residents, visitors and medical and nursing team) are satisfied and to also be sure that all necessary adjustments are made as closely as possible to the project.

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This evaluation process must continue after the development phase to verify the satisfaction of the various partners and to adapt as closely as possible to the care project in its evolution. In the specific field of Alzheimers, there are many facts that support the interest of providing therapeutic gardens, particularly in dealing with psycho behaviour problems which affect 80% of the patients at some time during their illness. At present, the creation of therapeutic gardens has been added to the planning specifications established in the “Plan Alzheimer 2008-2012” for UCC and UHR.

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The conception must, of course, take into account the cognitive problems and the psycho-behavioral disturbances of the patients, but also with the idea of conserving their capacities for as long as possible. The recognition of the fundamental right to have a therapeutically designed environment and to be able to access it without restriction or difficulty, for us, is a priority written in the charter of hospitalized persons and dependent elderly persons.

arbre jardin plante thérapie maladie bienfaits

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