Gardening is potentially a "long-term" memory for Madison residents with dementia. Many of the residents grew up gardening with their children, parents, and grandparents. A number even grew up on farms and gardening was a daily chore for them since their childhood. For memory care residents, it is a treasured memory from their youth. They enjoyed being outside working the dirt, reaping the fruits of their labor from the garden, and helping their families live and survive.
It is beneficial to connect individuals living with dementia to their long term memories. Our goal is to create a space for residents to live to their fullest potential. Helping them bridge the gap between their current reality and their long term memory allows them to be in a space in which they can recognize and feel like themselves again. Activities, such as gardening, often lead to interesting stories from the past, sparked by the activity itself. It is very gratifying for the resident to be able to complete tasks from the past and recall memories associated with that task.
Here at The Madison Senior Living Kansas City, MO to celebrate and participate in National Gardening month we will be sorting through seed catalogs and pulling weeds from our courtyard and raised flowerbeds. Then the fun part begins with the planning and planting of our garden. One of the residents' favorite activities is to decorate blessing stones. We will adorn our community and our garden with these hand-made treasures.