Horticulture Therapy for Persons with Dementia; Effects on Engagement and Affect


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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this paper is to integrate and synthesize the literature from the fields of Horticulture Therapy (HT) and therapeutic activities for persons with dementia using the theory of environmental press Utilizing horticulture as a treatment modality, the therapist can either modify the environment or the person's competence level or both to assist persons to reach the desired Adaptation Level (AL). The AL represents an appropriate person-environment fit, and attainment of this zone is demonstrated by positive affect and adaptive behavior. At this time, research about HT for persons with dementia is limited. Applying theory to research is essential in order to clarify the appropriate outcome measures, independent variables, and research designs to the study. Therefore, research that fails to utilize theory often does little to contribute to the advancement of the field. This paper offers an environmental press perspective about HT for persons with cognitive impairment.



caregiving, environmental press, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, horticulture therapy