Social and Therapeutic Horticulture for Palliative Care

Author: Lisi Pilgrem, Occupational Therapist, STH for Palliative Care Interest Group Coordinator
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Last year Lisi Pilgrem set up a group for those with an interest in social and therapeutic horticulture for palliative care to enable the sharing of ideas and best practice. Next month the group are holding their second study day and all are welcome.

Social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) for palliative care promotes wellbeing and quality of life for people affected by life-limiting illness through active or passive gardening, horticulture or accessing nature.

But everyone who has links with hospices or services which provide palliative care – staff, patients and their families, volunteers – can benefit from the presence of the ‘natural environment’ which our gardens have to offer.

Research shows that horticulture, gardening and access to nature, whether through active or passive participation, improves wellbeing and quality of life.

Benefits include restoration of energy and attention, recovery from stress, improved confidence and person identity, adjustment and normalisation.

Patients affected by life-limiting illness often feel that their gardening days are over. Time is taken up with hospital appointments, coping with disease progression and loss, and managing symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety and pain. Opportunities to enjoy gardening or appreciate nature lessen.

STH for palliative care is about holistically managing symptoms while empowering individuals to achieve their personal preferences and goals…read more

From ehospice

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