Dementia and Gardening: The Perfect Spring Mix!
March 10, 2024

Hyacinth, marigolds, peonies, azaleas… what do these all have in common? They are all colorful blooms that arrive in springtime! So, why not consider planting some of these vibrant blues, yellows, and purples in your home garden? There’s no need to be afraid of tracking in a little bit of soil. In fact, gardening has actually been proven to have therapeutic benefits for care partners and adults living with dementia. So, go grab your gloves because it’s gardening time!

Gardening Lends Independence To Adults With Alzheimer’s & Dementia!

members of Oakwood Creative Care with dementia and Alzheimers benefit from gardening

Perhaps what makes gardening such a unique experience for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia is the customization of it all. No two gardens will ever look the same, and that’s where the beauty comes in full bloom!

Adults who face cognitive or physical challenges can find a sense of independence and decisiveness when cultivating their gardens. Everything is grounded in their control – from the flowers they pick to how their pots are arranged.

As a whole, gardening maintenance is a great way to increase a person’s well-being through the feeling of accomplishment that comes with seeing their garden thrive, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Gardening Counts As Physical Exercise

Another benefit of gardening for adults living with dementia is that it offers an alternative to daily physical exercise. Forward With Dementia cites gardening as an option for practicing various physical skills, including walking, reaching, bending, pulling, digging, raking, pruning, and more. The physical act of gardening has also been shown to help improve a person‘s endurance, strength, mobility, flexibility, and balance.

Make Friendships Bloom With Local Gardening Clubs

In addition to sensory stimulation and encouragement to spend more time outside (hello, vitamin D!), gardening can open communication and socialization channels for adults who might be feeling isolated. In fact, there are gardening clubs available right here in the community!

Forward With Dementia recommends sharing a love of plants and the great outdoors within intergenerational circles, allowing older adults to share their skills and knowledge with children and young people.

Sometimes, communication can be complex for adults with specific challenges, but utilizing a shared appreciation can be just the gateway a person needs to connect with a new social circle where they can feel a sense of belonging and acceptance.

Oakwood Creative Care: East Valley Senior Day Clubs in Mesa and Sun Lakes Arizona

Did You Know? Oakwood Loves To Garden, Too!

If your loved one with dementia has a knack for gardening, contact your Day Club and let them know! Our engagement specialists can help cultivate your loved one’s green thumb with all the tools and guidance necessary to make a joyful experience. PLUS, you can help ensure our garden areas are always in tip-top shape when you donate to OCC. Just click the button below to do so!

dementia and gardening


We're a nonprofit organization based in Mesa, Arizona with three senior day club locations (and a fourth on the way) which serve older adults with Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, and various other physical or cognitive challenges. Life does not end with a diagnosis. Our members continue to learn new skills, enjoy new discoveries, make friends, laugh, and live a joy-filled life. Our team of dementia experts lead support groups, events, classes, and private sessions with caregivers and families, guiding them on the best methods to care for their loved ones while also caring for themselves.

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