We believe everybody
deserves to enjoy life,
whatever their age
A unique gardening project is underway at Enliven’s Kandahar Court in Masterton, with residents growing their very own Eden garden.
The project, at the innovative dementia facility, kicked off with a working bee recently where residents were joined by staff and their children to plant a wide array of fruit and vegetables.
Kandahar Court healthcare assistant Jo Castro explains the project is much more than just a garden.
“At Kandahar we embrace an elder-directed model of care called the Eden Alternative. Eden’s different because it focuses on the entire wellbeing of each individual elder, not just their clinical care and their daily living needs,” explains Jo.
“One of the elements of Eden is bringing residents closer to plants, animals and children. This helps them to have companionship, spontaneity and meaningful activity in their lives.”
The Eden principles also touch on ideas such as continuing hobbies and ensuring residents have choice and control, including being part of the decision making around how the home is run.
“Without meaningful activity people can’t truly thrive, so we take every opportunity to support our residents to have meaning, purpose, companionship and fun in their lives.”
Jo explains the gardening project came about when staff were talking with the residents about their favourite hobbies and pastimes.
“Quite a few of Kandahar Court’s residents have varied interests in gardening. Having fresh and thriving gardens means they can continue with their hobbies,” says Jo.
“After all, our interests, hobbies and passions make us unique whatever our age. They motivate and challenge us, give us fulfilment, a sense of belonging, purpose and achievement.”
Kandahar Court will use the vegetables in their meals and share them with friends and family.
“Picking vegetables they have grown themselves and creating a salad to share with others will give residents a sense of satisfaction, and you can see it in their eyes when they walk outside that they love the Eden gardens – their eyes light up.”
The home also plans to plant some gardens with colourful, scented flowers for residents to nurture and enjoy.
Enliven’s Kandahar Court is part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central. To support the project by making a donation call 0508 TO HELP.