Design ideas of a healing garden for improving the health of aging people with intellectual disability

M.L. Liao, F.L. Shih, F.E. Lin, Y.J. Chen, Y.T. Tang
People with intellectual disability are aging faster than normal people. The changes coming with aging include body function decline, mobility decline, and psychological condition change. World Health Organization (2000) has pointed out that one of the most important principles when developing specialized service plans targeting aging people with intellectual disability is “practical, entertaining and improving their essential skills for daily life”. To meet the needs of aging residents with intellectual disabilities, Nantou Education and Nursing Institute of Ministry of Health and Welfare (NENIMHW), a public institute taking care of people with intellectual disabilities, started to design and construct a healing garden. Horticultural therapy and therapeutic landscape experts are invited to brainstorming meetings during the designing process. The Healing Garden in NENIMHW is based on the theories of green care and therapeutic landscape, combining therapeutic recreation and horticultural therapy. The main areas with recreational function are calming chair, tactile walkway and rail chair, grass relaxation area, feast-for-ears area, raised bed and vertical gardening area, and hand-pumped foot spa area. The design ideas of the healing garden are intended to improve the health of residents with intellectual disabilities, slow down their aging process, enrich their living environment, and enhance their quality of life.
Liao, M.L., Shih, F.L., Lin, F.E., Chen, Y.J. and Tang, Y.T. (2021). Design ideas of a healing garden for improving the health of aging people with intellectual disability. Acta Hortic. 1313, 17-26
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1313.3
healing garden, design idea, residents with intellectual disabilities