Horticultural therapy sessions have been taking place for Sheffield care home residents.
These gardening activities have proven benefits for all elderly people and particularly those with dementia – helping to reduce agitation, anxiety and improve wellbeing.
The residents of The Laurels and The Limes Care Home, on Manchester Road, have really enjoyed getting into the garden during the recent spell of good weather.
Horticultural therapist Caroline Cook ran a range of activities for the residents recently, including planting and sowing, decorating plant pots and flower arranging.
Caroline works as a freelance horticultural therapist providing sessions at care homes and day centres for older people and supporting activity coordinators and care staff across Derbyshire and South Yorkshire.
Caroline said: “I am passionate about seeing older people’s quality of life improved by working with plants and nature and having access to the outside. I would like to see care homes integrated into the community by encouraging intergenerational work.
“Residents at The Laurels and The Limes Care Home thoroughly enjoyed getting outside, enjoying the lovely weather and taking part in the activities.
“We do a range of activities, depending on residents’ interests, and link with the seasons to encourage them to reminisce, which is hugely beneficial for those living with dementia.”
Louise Spooner, home manager at The Laurels, said: “Our residents had a great time taking part in the horticultural activities.
“All activities that bring back memories have a hugely positive effect, helping to improve their overall wellbeing, as well as reducing agitation and anxiety.
“Our thanks go to Caroline Cook for running the session. We hope to have her back in future.”
Caroline is a member of the Association of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioners, and of Thrive - a national charity using gardening to bring about positive changes in lives of people living with disablities, or ill health, or who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable.
Caroline has a background as a speech and language therapist, and works as a gardening tutor for First Taste, a Derbyshire charity promoting arts, educational and stimulative activites for frail older people in care homes and day centres. Visit visit www.gardeningwithcaroline.co.uk for more details or running horticultural therapy sessions.