Gardening for Seniors

The taste of a sun-warmed tomato, the cool feel of a watering can, the floral smell of roses, the view of a lush, green plant against a turquoise sky: so many pleasures for the home gardener, and for the sensory support it provides. It is a wonderfully satisfying space for people with dementia, too. A garden offers people with dementia the ability to leisurely walk in an open space. It provides a sense of calm, rather than anxiety, and a sense of grounding, rather than compulsive wandering. Research has shown that dementia gardens can also reduce agitation, panic, aggression, and confusion in patients. There is much information available on the creation and use of a dementia garden. You can visit the following sites: or to get started.

When planning a dementia garden, be sure to include the loved one you are creating the space for! Ask them for their suggestions, and what types of plants and flowers they would like to have in their garden. Avoid excessively shaded, or overly bright garden areas due to common visual-spatial issues. The following are tips from

Outdoor spaces must be safe – this includes safe landscaping materials, non-slip pathways, non-poisonous or thorny plants, adequate shade, suitable fencing and handrails, or support throughout the garden.
Garden needs to be accessible – allow for access to safe outdoor spaces. If the area is well-fenced and safe, then access should be made available throughout the day, as weather permits. The space does not have to be large, but it does need to be safe.
Include suitable plants – include plants to stimulate the senses and provide opportunities for remembrance and growing of fresh food. Create sustainability – use plants that are recommended for your hardiness zone, and establish a garden maintenance plan to help the garden thrive through the summer.
Add useful garden elements to enhance outdoor experiences – include features for socializing, water fountains and birdbaths, potted plants for extra color, raised gardens filled with soil for digging, watering cans and hoses, and trees/shrubs for attracting birds.

If you or your senior loved one needs assistance with dementia care, At Home Senior Care now offers Peace of Mind Membership packages! We work with you to identify your needs and potential concerns and tailor a program to create peace of mind for you and your family. Call us at 802-768-8565 or visit our website at