Application of horticultural therapists' expertise to lectures for dementia prevention: a case report of a dementia prevention course held by a local women's group in Japan

Y. Yokota, M. Toyoda
The author lectured once a year at a dementia prevention course held by a local women's group in Japan from 2017 to 2019. Between 16 and 24 individuals attended each of three lectures. 90% of the participants were in their 70s and 80s, and more than 90% had experiences of gardening. The two-hour lecture consisted of a brief explanation of horticultural therapy (HT) and key points for dementia prevention, participation in HT activities, and communication over a cup of tea. The aim of the lectures was to increase the participants' awareness of the effectiveness of plants-mediated activities and thereby enhance their willingness to incorporate what they learned into everyday life. To prevent dementia, physical exercise, cognitive training, stress reduction, social interaction with others, intellectual activities, etc. are said to be important. In the lectures, the author provided the following HT activities, focusing on cognitive stimulation, stress reduction, arousal of intellectual curiosity, and communication: 1) herbaceous cutting and herbal hand bath, 2) a “floral lunchbox” (2D flower arrangement), and 3) a flower basket using a milk carton (3D flower arrangement). Fresh and colourful plants materials were prepared in consideration of bringing about comfort by sensory stimulation. The participants' works were expected to serve as a communication tool both on site and at home. In addition, feedback using a numerical rating scale (NRS) was adopted in the third lecture so that the participants themselves could visually compare the changes before and after experiencing HT activities. Though these plants-mediated activities are usually provided during a HT program, targeting people who need care, such activities are also adaptable to the arena of primary prevention of dementia in healthy adults. Horticultural therapists'expertise can be applied to extended areas for human well-being.
Yokota, Y. and Toyoda, M. (2021). Application of horticultural therapists' expertise to lectures for dementia prevention: a case report of a dementia prevention course held by a local women's group in Japan. Acta Hortic. 1330, 193-200
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1330.22
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1330.22
primary prevention, horticultural therapy (HT), gardening, stress reduction, numerical rating scale (NRS)
English

Acta Horticulturae