Thursday, July 6, 2006
Alliance adds gardening activity
By SUE WATSON
A vegetable and flower garden experience was added to the Alliance HealthCare System’s therapeutic activities for seniors.
“They come in as inpatients and we step them out to the outpatient program,” said Karee Heath, activity therapist.
She said the aging population needs sensory and cognitive stimuli to help them move out of depression and anxiety.
“Activity is very important,” Heath said.
Therapeutic activities like listening to music, reading, working puzzles, playing games, and gardening help quicken the mind.
State hospital regulations do not allow the hospital to serve the tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and peppers grown in the therapeutic garden, but staff members purchase the vegetables and the money is used to buy bingo prizes for the clients, according to Cecelia Bost, COO at the hospital.
Bill Akins, a former concert musician, likes to go to the garden and also plays keyboard during activity hours.
He is a temporary resident at Christopher’s and enjoys the therapeutic activities.
“Yes, I’ve enjoyed it,” he said.
Bost said local businesses provided materials for the activities.
Carpenter’s provided the plants and Stix-n-Tones rented the hospital a keyboard.
“The guy at Stix-n-Tones was nice about it because they don’t normally rent them,” Bost said. “So, we’re trying to do things here in the community for the elderly.”
Bost recently graduated Marshall County’s LeadershipPlenty 2006 class.
“That leadership training program helped us to come up with new ideas to bring innovative things into the program,” Bost said.
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