One of the characteristic traits of Alzheimer’s is the tendency to remember things from the past better than the events of the day. Those who suffer from Alzheimer’s often have pleasant memories of spending time in the great outdoors, and find it calming when they’re surrounded by the beauty of nature. Today, many caregivers are using gardens to help alleviate anxiety, and Omaha Alzheimer’s care specialists are proving that this strategy does indeed offer relief.
If you provide care for an aging loved one in Omaha and are interested in setting up a garden for them at home in the backyard, know there are special considerations to keep in mind. Gardens designed for those with dementia differ from ordinary gardens in that they take into consideration the special needs of Alzheimer’s patients:
- Garden Layout. People with Alzheimer’s tend to wander, so a figure-eight layout is often recommended. This configuration also eliminates dead ends, which can cause confusion for your family member.
- Raised Beds. Planting beds surrounded by low, wide retaining walls are ideal. They not only bring plants up to eye level but provide places where you loved one can sit and rest as well.
- Plant Selection. People in advanced stages of Alzheimer’s often put things into their mouths, so it’s critical to ensure that all of the plants in your garden are non-toxic.
- Safe and Soothing. Something as benign as a shadow can be alarming to a person living with Alzheimer’s. Plant trees away from paths and avoid water features that splash or cause glare.
Multiple clinical studies have shown that seniors who have regular access to natural environments have lower levels of stress, pain and anxiety. Gardens also encourage physical activity, which is so critical to maintaining good health, and they can give you the opportunity to share time with your loved or enjoy a well-deserved break as well. All in all, few care settings offer as many benefits to those suffering than Alzheimer’s than a beautifully planned garden.
Learn more about Alzheimer’s home care by contacting Home Care Assistance of Omaha today. While we specialize in live-in care, we also provide hourly home care in Omaha, ideal for respite for overwhelmed family caregivers. To schedule a free, in-home consultation, contact a Care Manager at 402-763-9140 today.