United Way Caregivers Coalition learn about horticultural therapy

Plants do not judge. Plants are non-threatening and have universal appeal. Plant activities such as making sachets of Lavender and rose petals can enable connections, success and creative expression at any age, and any stage of life. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Lauren DePrado)

Plants do not judge. Plants are non-threatening and have universal appeal. Plant activities such as making sachets of Lavender and rose petals can enable connections, success and creative expression at any age, and any stage of life.
(Photo: ~Courtesy of Lauren DePrado)

Last month I had an invitation to introduce horticultural therapy to members of the United Way of Northern New Jersey Caregivers Coalition. The coalition brings together caregivers, medical professionals, social service agencies, businesses, and other community groups to support unpaid caregivers in Somerset, Morris, Suburban Essex, Sussex and Warren counties.

The 503-members strong coalition in Somerset County provides unpaid family caregivers with education, resources, supports and connections they need in their caregiving role. The purpose of the horticultural therapy program, presented during a meeting at the Jewish Community Center in Bridgewater, was to provide insight about the valuable role it can have in offering an outlet for the incredible demands placed on caregivers.

Studies show that horticultural therapy and garden activities can benefit the caregiver as well as the patient in reducing stress and anxiety and increase attention and sociality.

The role of caregiver is critical, invaluable, and as many caregivers can attest, exhausting. Caregivers help with a variety of tasks, from administering medications, bathing and dressing, driving to doctors, preparing and serving meals, and paying bills.

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Posted in Horticultural Therapy, News

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