Creating a Therapy Garden Walk

Alta Vista Rehab in South Texas added a beautiful garden walk about a year ago incorporating different heights of pots of various flowers, plants and vegetables, and uneven surface training with sidewalk, dirt, grass, and stone. Here are some things you might want to consider when adding your therapy garden walk:

Place pots at various levels to allow patients of different sizes, statures, etc., to plant and take care of them, thus working on dynamic balance, weight shifting etc.

Vegetable gardens—allow the patients to plan, coordinate, structure, thus working on cognition, etc.

Flower and Veggie gardens allow the patients to pick them, thus making different crafts etc, and working on gross and fine motor movements.

Trees allow for shade, and fruit trees (oranges, lemons, apples, pears) allow the patients to pick them, thus working on balance, and coordination. Also makes a nice tasty treat!

Therapy gardens also give patients another relaxing place to work on their therapy goals. It may also remind them of home or a past passionate hobby, thus further improving maximal functional outcomes, particularly with dementia patients.

An outdoor garden could also be a great place for a standing frame or parallel bars. Alternating the treatment environment can either spark new excitement in our patients or calm an anxious patient so that we can help them achieve their best outcomes.

by Jon Anderson, Therapy Resource

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