Date of Defense



Occupational Therapy


elderly, nursing homes


As individuals age, their physical and mental capacity to engage in the meaningful occupations of their youth diminishes. This is especially true of individuals whose illnesses have progressed to the point of necessitating care in long-term care facilities. These facilities must provide meaningful and therapeutic occupations to residents. One emerging avenue for the provision of meaningful occupation for adults is "green care." Green care is an umbrella term for nature-based approaches that promote engagement in meaningful occupation through purposeful contact with nature (Hine, Peacock, & Pretty, 2008). Recent research indicates that the green care approach of therapeutic horticulture effectively promotes health and well-being with a variety of populations (Sempik, Aldridge, & Becker, 2003). However, the body of evidence for use of green care activities is limited. This paper attempts to bridge that gap. The purpose of this project is to analyze the task of therapeutic gardening for older adults in order to design an intensive gardening program for therapeutic benefit.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only