If you are adapting the layout of a garden for a person with Alzheimer's, you may find these design tips helpful too.
Pathways should be smooth sound and as people with Alzheimer's and dementia do tend to lose physical skills and ability over time, wide enough to take a wheelchair. Preferably without steep gradients or steep steps and free of clutter like plant pots. Handrails will help people who have difficulty walking and also act as a guide way to avoid confusion.
When choosing plants for people with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia try to take the following considerations into account;
Almost any fruit, vegetables and flowers can be included, but avoid poisonous plants and plants that cause skin rashes and irritation, or have sharp leaves or thorns. Different textures, many colours and a variety in height and spread add interest will add interest. Herbs are especially important plants, planted near the edge of borders so that they give of their scent when touched or brushed against.
Access to a safe garden designed for people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, who might be restless, agitated and who like to walk a lot can meet a lot of the needs for people with other forms of dementia too.
Just as important, meet some of the needs of the carer. Giving a carer time to rest, time to reflect, time to remember, a break to relieve tension. Time for their own pursuits and time to be his or her own person for a while.
We sometimes neglect the needs of carers. However, even a few minutes of peace and quiet, knowing the person they care for is safe in a nice garden. Can give the carer that so necessary time, to recharge their batteries.
If the person caring for folk with Alzheimer's likes gardening that's a bonus too, fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers for the house, herbs to touch and a hobby.
It need not cost a fortune, but will give you both, the person with Alzheimer's and the person who Cares, something back.
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