What is Green Care Farming?
Green care farming is a care model for individuals with memory loss that incorporates horticultural and farming based therapy practices in dementia care. All Green care farming programs are unique in their programming logistics, but most share a similar goal. Green care farms aim to create a safe space for individuals with memory loss and help to cultivate a stronger sense of community and purpose. Green care is a unique and holistic, yet simple approach to dementia care and has been shown to have several health benefits. Research shows not only a higher quality of life for those involved in Green care farming programs, but other studies have shown improvements in: sleep, sundowning, opportunity for social contact, social identity and purpose, physical functioning, behavior (e.g. angry outbursts, physical aggression, agitation), amount of daily fluid intake, and reduction in fall risk.
Unlike most memory care program settings, Green care programs often take place in a natural area or on a farm allowing for hands on activities that can be individualized to the participants abilities and interests. Green care farming activities can include planting, watering, and harvesting fruits and vegetables, taking care of farm animals, washing and preparing the fruits and vegetables to be donated to local food banks, drying herbs, and taking nature walks among many other things.
What We Do
The Evergreen Experience is a hands-on program designed specifically for individuals in the early stages of memory loss that combines horticultural therapy, gardening, and farm-based activities. The program consists of skill-based, adaptable activities that draw on participant’s strengths and encourage the use of all five senses. The Evergreen Experience is a great way to keep those with memory loss mentally, socially and physically active. Participants gain health benefits from the interwoven physical activity and confidence from individualized focus. Due to its shared group setting, this program allows for the creation of a strong supportive network of peers. The work being done by participants often results in a product that can be donated to local food banks or organizations, helping to create a stronger sense of purpose for participants.