Spring Has Sprung

3c0a3bee-ffb0-4932-8d0e-d449189a150eHi Anthony Diaz here and spring has sprung. The rabbits are enjoying all the fresh growth and cool sunshine, and our residents are appreciating being able to be outside in the fresh cool air also. Last week we talked about putting in the garden in pots to give our residents an activity that is therapeutic for motor skill coordination as well as a source for movement and exercise.

This week’s art therapy was an opportunity for our residents to enjoy a delicious root-beer float while decorating individual watering cans to use on the garden.The idea for this came about as a way to occupy those that are interested in the continued care for the garden. Art therapy is about offering many kinds of different activities that accesses creativity, motor skills, treats and fun, and spring is ripe with potential ideas to keep everyone engaged and involved.

We used stickers and markers of all colors. Who knew that stickers were so much fun? We may use them again for future projects. They are a simple way to access creativity without stress over motor coordination, and the markers worked well also for simple design.

What isn’t fun about root-beer floats? Of course, everyone was excited over the bubbly sweet treat. We all talked about ice cream and discovered that several of the residents had worked at various ice cream counters when they were young. We talked about our favorite flavors and what kinds of ice cream treats we liked. There really is something to be said about the idea of an ice cream social as an opportunity for carefree conversation.

Now everyone has their own easily identifiable watering can, and hopefully this will encourage their continued participation in the whole outside project. We at Rosa’s strive to provide an environment that encourages our residents to move, exercise, be creative, enjoy the company of the other residents, and simply continue living a healthy life. Happy spring everyone.

Gardening at Rosa’s

gardenHi, this is Anthony Diaz and one of the wonderful things we do at Rosa’s to stimulate activity is gardening. We call it container gardening and we are excited that there are many things you can grow in containers such as squash, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, radishes and a host more.

Our clients who want to participate help get the containers ready and help plant the plants. The clients often get excited because they know with water and care, these plants will be on their dinner table soon.

Working in the garden provides you with an outdoors fitness alternative. Gardening has many health and therapeutic benefits for older people. It is enjoyable, and provides a source of exercise. For those who did not know, gardening also encourages use of all motor skills which is wonderful when dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Did you know there is an actual clinical profession that exists called horticultural therapy where people use gardening to heal? Now maybe it’s the sunshine that boosts people’s mood or maybe it is digging in the soil or just being part of creating something, but gardening really has great benefits for seniors.

Gardening is also good for depression and anxiety. Recently we learned that there is a strain of bacterium in soil that has been found to trigger the release of serotonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety.

These are some of the reasons we like to make sure we grow some of our food and do gardening for our seniors here at Rosa’s. It just makes good sense, and salads!