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Garden therapy a hit with patients

Community members and occupational therapists at the Outpatient Rehab facility at General Hospital work together to complete the Outpatient Rehab garden earlier this spring.Patients who suffer injuries that require rehabilitation are often surprised that many of the therapies involve everyday activities like cooking and gardening. Now just in time for spring and summer, the Outpatient Rehab facility at St. Joseph Hospital’s General Hospital campus has a new therapy garden that is making occupational therapy a little more fun for patients.

Occupational therapists with the Outpatient Rehab facility recently created a garden that not only improves the overall look and feel of the hospital, but also provides patients with some true opportunities for hands-on therapy.

Some of the benefits for patients who participate in garden therapy include practicing mobility on uneven terrain, fine and gross motor skills while attending to plants and pruning, and learning to use adaptive gardening tools, among other skills. This type of therapy is also highly motivational for patients who are interested in gardening and other outdoor activities.

This project was made possible by grants from the St. Joseph Hospital volunteers and donations from the Weott Garden Club and from community residents Linda Gaffin and Claudia Liebscher. Occupational therapists Sharon Gaffin, Carol Bowden and Heidi Kaun also worked hard to make the garden a reality.

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