‘The nourishing soil of the soul’: The role of horticultural therapy in promoting well-being in community-dwelling people with dementia
Two-thirds of people with dementia reside in their own homes; however, support for community-dwelling people with dementia to continue to participate in everyday activities is often lacking, resulting in feelings of depression and isolation among people living with the condition. Engagement in outdoor activities such as gardening can potentially counteract these negative experiences by enabling people with dementia to interact with nature, helping to improve their physical and psychological well-being. Additionally, the collaborative nature of community gardening may encourage the development of a sense of community, thereby enhancing social integration. Despite increasing evidence supporting its therapeutic value for people with dementia in residential care, the benefits of horticultural therapy have yet to be transposed into a community setting. This paper will examine the theoretical support for the application of horticultural therapy in dementia care, before exploring the potential of horticultural therapy as a means of facilitating improved physical and psychological well-being and social integration for people living with dementia within the community.
Residents’ and caregivers’ views on spiritual care and their understanding of spiritual needs in persons with dementia: A meta-synthesis
To synthesize research that investigated how residents and caregivers view spiritual care, come to understand the spiritual needs of people with dementia, and how caregivers provide care congruent with peoples’ needs.
Spiritual care for persons with dementia was described in the forms of (i) performing religious rituals that provides a sense of comfort and(ii) coming to know the person, which provides opportunities to understand a person's meaning and purpose, and (iii) attending to basic needs provides an opportunity to appreciate others’ vulnerability and humanness.
Spiritual care intended to help persons with dementia to express their faith and religious beliefs, and help persons with dementia experience meaning in life, connectedness to self, God/deity and other persons.
Research literature in the dementia field lacks examples of ‘best-practices’ demonstrating concretely how it is possible to support the sense of coherence in people with dementia. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the nurses’ views concerning a caring approach that may support the sense of coherence in people with dementia. The data were collected through participant observation and focus group interviews during a four-month period in 2011. Sixteen registered nurses recruited from two Norwegian nursing homes participated in this study. The data were interpreted using a phenomenological-hermeneutical method. Three themes were identified: ‘being in the moment’, ‘doing one thing at a time’, and ‘creating joy and contentment’. An overall interpretation of these themes is described by the metaphor ‘slow nursing’, a caring approach that may lead to supporting the sense of coherence in people with dementia.
A qualitative exploration of the stigma of dementia reported that general practitioners described lack of reciprocity as one way in which people with dementia are perceived within society. This was closely linked to their perception of dementia as a stigma. In this article, we explore whether general practitioners perceive people with dementia as lacking reciprocity and, if so, if this is linked with societal opinions about dementia as a stigma. The implications of both perceptions of people with dementia failing to reciprocate and of stigma for timely diagnosis are explored. Our approach is to follow the thread of reciprocity in the data from our initial study. In this follow-up study, general practitioners’ perceptions of societal views of people with dementia included a perception of a lack of reciprocity specifically linked with; failing to respond to human contact, the absence of an appropriate return on social investment and failing to contribute to, or being a burden on, society. General practitioners reported a link between societal perceptions of lack of reciprocity and stereotypes about advanced dementia, difficulties communicating with people with dementia, and lack of opportunities for people with dementia to reciprocate. General practitioners occupy a key position, they can challenge stereotypes and, with support and targeted training about communicating with people living with dementia, can emphasize the ways in which people with dementia can communicate, thereby enhancing their potential to reciprocate. Such changes have implications for improved care and quality of life through the continued maintenance of social inclusion and perceptions of personhood