English poet Alfred Austin once wrote: “The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.”
And even though he wrote this in the 19th century, he was absolutely correct. Gardens and nature have long been used as a place of serenity and calm. Gardeners will tell you that after a session with their hands in the dirt, they feel happy, healthy and alive.
In the 1800’s horticulture became increasingly used within the medical industry to treat mental illness. Gardens and landscaped settings were created within psychiatric hospital grounds to provide access to quiet spaces, grassed areas, winding paths and garden beds for flowers.
In the early 1900’s, gardens were used for people with physical disabilities and were commonly used to assist older people and those living with dementia to have happier, healthier lives.
The benefits of garden therapy are not just anecdotal. There has been a growing body of evidence gathered from international research which proves gardening is good for our wellbeing.
The University of Queensland’s Theresa Scott found in her research in 2012 that “simply being in view of a garden or nature leads to enhanced wellbeing.”
UK based charity Thrive, an organisation which uses gardening to bring about positive change in the lives of people living with ill-health, or are isolated, disadvantaged and vulnerable, found that gardening can change the way you feel.
“The therapeutic value and feeling of wellbeing that people get from gardening, growing food and the outdoor environment, has a strong and positive impact on our physical and mental wellbeing,” according to Thrive’s research report Gardening: The feel good factor. How can gardening improve my mental and emotional wellbeing?
“Our research shows that gardening can help people through a specific period of difficulty in their lives,” the report says. “Gardening can help you get back on top of things and restore balance when it feels like your life is veering out of control. Gardening can help you feel happier, more confident and healthier.”
About Oxley Home Care:
Oxley Home Care, established in 2006, is a family-owned Sydney company and is an Approved Government Provider for aged care services, specialising in Dementia Care.
Oxley Home Care provides Dementia Care, Private Care, Home Care, Nursing and Allied Health to enable people to live a quality life independently in their own home and stay connected to their local community.
Oxley Home Care is an Approved Provider of Home Care Packages funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and holds an allocation of Home Care Packages. These packages are designed to provide assistance to the elderly, to remain living independently at home.
For further information, feel free to contact Oxley Home Care on 1800 221 039.