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RE: Garden for Alzheimer's Patients

Wendy, with mother going into a senior care center during the day, I've
gotten to know some of the folks that work with Alzheimer's patients.  They
don't just let ANY of them wander about.  There is a lovely garden outside
the entrance to the senior care center that all of them enjoy and a
wonderful "swing" set up for mobile and wheel chair patients, too.  Still,
when people go out into the garden, an attendant will take only 2-3 people
to be certain she protects them from themselves with plants and all other
manner of hazards.  They even have set up a plant cart inside the center
itself and they have planted a number of "house" plants as well as a few
perennials for the patients to see on a daily basis.  Not all of them are
non toxic.  Again, they aren't allowed to wander unattended.  

On the other hand, mother is about like a very large 3year old (2 some days)
and I do have to watch her because she will occasionally lose her judgment,
like this morning.  I told her to watch out for the ice and instead of going
around it, she aimed for it!!!  Luckily, I had a hand on her to keep her
from falling.  So perhaps being careful of toxic things isn't a bad idea.
If you do plant toxics, why not put them in the back of the border where
it's much more difficult for the patients to get to them?

Bonnie (SW OH - zone 5)

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On Behalf
Of pdickson
Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2004 7:54 AM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Garden for Alzheimer's Patients

Our Master Gardener group  helped to set up and maintain an Alzheimer's Unit
at a nursing home.  I remember one of the things they said was that they
wanted things that would be well rooted.  The patients tend to pull up the
plants.  Every fall we plant pansies for color through the winter and into
the spring. I don't personally work on it so I will have to ask questions
for any more information.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Melody" <mhobertm@excite.com>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2004 4:07 AM
Subject: RE: [CHAT] Garden for Alzheimer's Patients

> Wendy: My suggestion, as someone who works with Alzheimer's patients,
> would be to try to find old fashioned plants...the kind our grandmothers
> grew in their gardens...would probably be more interesting to folks
> whose recent memory is gone but whose remote memories are still intact.
> Peonies, roses, etc. And who would be eating these flowers? Would the
> dementia patients be allowed to roam unattended in the gardens?? Our
> patients get lots of flowers and although I've seen people eat some
> strange things in my day, it's not usually their flowers/plants, unless
> they are so far gone they should not be left unattended anyway.
> Melody, IA (Z 5/4)
> "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious."
> --Albert Einstein
>  --- On Wed 01/28, Wendy Swope < wendyswope@mindspring.com > wrote:
> From: Wendy Swope [mailto: wendyswope@mindspring.com]
> To: gardenchat@hort.net
> Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 14:20:17 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
> Subject: [CHAT] Garden for Alzheimer's Patients
> Hello, All,<br><br>My garden club is working on a plan to plant
> perennials in a garden<br>space behind the Alzheimer's Care Unit of a
> nearby nursing home. The<br>existing garden is strictly foliage at this
> point. The facility has good<br>bones in place, with empty areas waiting
> in both sun and shade for us to<br>fill with low-maintenance perennial
> ornamentals and groundcovers. The<br>patients already love the garden
> and we're looking forward to making it<br>even more special to
> them.<br><br><br>It's been fun brainstorming, like planning a garden for
> kids. Plants<br>that are soft, sweet-smelling, exceptionally colorful,
> or a fun shape<br>will be given preference. Plants selected have to be
> tough enough to<br>take handling once they're established. Parts of the
> plants will no<br>doubt be picked, stripped, or broken on a regular
> basis. But the<br>trickiest part of deciding what to plant is figuring
> out which<br>perennials are nontoxic, since the folks who will be
> enjoying the<br>flowers also eat them! I've been through my books on
> poisonous plants<br>and will do a web search on each of the club's final
> selections to make<br>sure--to the best of my ability--that we are not
> creating any risks.<br><br><br>I believe the following plants *are*
> toxic?: hardy geranium, lily,<br>hemerocallis, lily of the valley,
> hosta, Chinese lantern, poppies,<br>tulips, tansy, narcissus, vinca,
> hosta, aquilegia, ivy, baptisia, and<br>boxwood. But what about Russian
> sage, phlox, solidago, chrysanthemums,<br>Japanese anemones, heuchera
> and heucherella, brunnera, pennisetum<br>alopecuroides "Hamelyn", ribbon
> grass, lambs ears, violas, buddliea<br>davidii, spirea, perennial
> snapdragons, alliums, lilac, honeysuckle,<br>achillea, dianthus, silver
> mound, and balloon flowers? (mishmash of<br>latin and common names
> appearing as they come to mind) All the above<br>have been
> suggested.<br><br><br>Comments? Favorite "children's plants" that might
> work well? Input would be greatly
> appreciated!<br><br>Wendy<br><br>-----------------------------------
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