Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Abstract Horticultural Therapy Program within Retirement Communities

Abstract Horticultural Therapy Program within Retirement Communities

Many Health care facilities are trying to make successful strides in managing their facilities, creating a small intentional community for their residents and staff to interact in. A place that focuses on their life, the heart of which is found in the relationships that flourish. A radical departure from the traditional skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities of the past.

A Horticultural Therapy program will focus on creating the physical and structural real life environments that will propelled your facility to “A world class leader” in your industry. There is a need to exhaust every effort to accelerate the advancement of
creating the warmest, most comfortable place for all residents to live meaningful and useful interactive lives.
Have your “common areas” been overlooked and are they in desperate need of a radical overhaul? Are your outside private or courtyard areas sterile, lifeless, and institutional which present a nursing home feel? We can make these areas fit into your present commitment and endeavors to activate and stimulate your residents. We offer you an opportunity to change these areas into a setting that gives your current residents and staff members a warm, home like environment where they can feel they are a contributing member of a community.
Goals and objectives
· Designing and implement an intergenerational model Horticultural Therapy program using Eden Alternative Principles within your common areas, courtyards, and landscapes will create a better mutually beneficial environment to all residents and staff. Realizing this goal presents an opportunity to transform unused areas into a setting that will reflect a true home like patio experience. These areas can be designed to be private and more control oriented places for staff to interact with the residents, lessening their sense of loneliness and boredom. Places that offer beauty, warmth, friendliness, sunlight, plants, and a feeling of outdoor freedom and fresh air. A place where people have an inert sense of belonging to something greater than themselves.

Target population
This program will target the bored, the complacent, and the lonely unmotivated residents that need to be brought out of their rooms and hallways into home-like areas of your facility. They can then experience the sense of living an interactive life. With a focus on socialization, fun, play and activities that meaningfully contribute to their day to day existence.

Project activities

Establishing a new Horticultural Therapy Program will permit you to expand and improve your “areas” visual attractiveness while offering new and exciting
resident interactive activities. This new program will create a reliable mechanism to quickly respond to the changing needs of your residents through growing activities in but not limited to gardening, walkways, exercise, ramps and bridges. Along with shaded areas for sitting, reading and reflecting, perhaps a lean to greenhouse, areas that promotes growth, health, communication and sharing, as well as privacy and retreat, putting greens, rubberized horseshoe tossing, deck shuffle boarding, butterfly gardens, flower gardens, wheelchair gardens, standing gardens and an endless supply of horticultural activities that involve both residents and staff. Volunteer and interns programs, flower arranging, planting projects, nature tours, classes, lectures and crafts, In house garden clubs and events.

Progress can easily be measured by an immediate renewed
resident participation not only by the increased usage but also attendance in the classes and activities the program offers. There will be a clear and defined improvement in the ascetics’ of your facilities and in the general attitudes and well being of your residents and staff. You will witness and experience a significant direct sense of quality of life in our community measured by the smiles on the faces, the light in the eyes and the tones in the voices of your residents and staff as they take pride in being part of a progressive national model for retirement living.


After the initial physical design review and development process in most cases, a Horticultural Therapist can be absorbed by current program funding. The “right person” is the key to generating, motivating and maintaining the program. As stated by the American Horticultural Therapy Association’s website http://www.ahta.org “Horticultural therapists are specially educated and trained members of rehabilitation teams (with doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and other) who involve the client in all phases of gardening - from propagation to selling products - as a means of bringing about improvement in their life. The demand for trained horticultural therapists has prompted universities, colleges, and other organizations to offer degree and certificate programs in the field.”
Often times an Occupational, Activity or Recreational Therapist with a strong background or interest in gardening can facilitate a Horticultural Therapy Program.


Horticultural Frontiers can design a custom program that will address your present areas that are physically old and requiring repair, high maintenance, and expense. These areas offer little in the way of beauty, pleasantness, and in home personal contentment. This nationally proven media of Horticultural Therapy when added will be the first of its kind. This will offer a new and exciting avenue to provide state of the art programming for your residents. It is sensory stimulating as well as visually pleasing for not only the staff and residents, but for visitors and new prospective customers and donors. It’s green and healthy, active and affordable, and most importantly its fun and offers intrigue, excitement and expectations. It causes anticipation, It buds, begins to grow, blooms and even dies. Life lessons every day. It is active. It is alive. It is something to look forward to at the beginning of the day as well as something to reflect on at the end of the day. it is ever changing and improving. It is an art, a science, a living thing of beauty and positive in its nature. Here-in lies its treasures and rewards. It is in itself therapeutic and contagious. It’s new, and it’s fresh and will prove to be the initial key to your future reputation and success.

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