How can the implementation of a healing garden benefit the patients of St. Catherine of Sienna Nursing and Rehabilitation Center?
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Healing gardens are designed areas in a landscape, typically at hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and created using plants and other landscape aspects to help aid the health of those within that healthcare facility. They are used to help improve the lives of those that are engaged within the garden. Horticulture has been used as an effective way to provide a sense of healing to people who are affected by mental or physical illnesses. These techniques have been used as far back as 2000 BC in Mesopotamia. During approximately 500 BC, gardens created by the Persians combined three major human senses; sight, fragrance (smell), and sound, in order to provide a comforting sense of relief (“History of Horticulture: Therapeutic Modality,” para 1). In the 1940s and 1950s, hospitalized war veterans were exposed to this type of practice as a way to provide a treatment for mental illness (“History of Horticulture”). This example shows that by stimulating the three major human senses, gardens containing different shrubs and flowers can contribute to treatment of illnesses and medical disabilities. In today’s society, horticultural therapy is seen as a beneficial way to provide therapeutic treatments to patients that suffer from different illnesses. According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, “Horticulture therapy helps improve memory, cognitive abilities, task initiation, language skill, and socialization.” They also can help with rehabilitation to patients who are in need of physical therapy by strengthening muscles and improving the patient’s endurance, balance and coordination. This project explores how designing a healing garden can benefit the patients in a nursing home setting. To do this, I will design a healing garden for a nursing and rehabilitation center for a local hospital in Smithtown, New York. By applying the proven methods and aspects, I am making the healing garden beneficial for the patients.
A Design Capstone submitted to the Department of Urban Horticulture and Design of the State University of New York, Farmingdale State College. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor’s of Technology In Landscape Development, May 2019 Long Island, NY. Advised by Professor Stevie Famulari, Gds. Course: HORT 474- Capstone.
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