The Garden Unit: A Case Study Exploring Therapeutic Garden Design for Elderly with Dementia at the Jewish Home of San Francisco
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This design thesis examines the significance of therapeutic gardens in long-term geriatric care facilities and advocates for thoughtfully designed "out-of-doors" spaces that support the highest quality of life for elderly individuals with dementia and their caregivers, both professional and personal. With a rapidly growing elderly demographic in the United States and elsewhere in the world, geriatric care is now, more than ever, a critical field demanding our attention. The aim of therapeutic gardens in the spectrum of care for elderly with dementia should be to provide emotional, psychosocial, and physical relief and foster their well-being. Therapeutic gardens should also be designed with the caregivers--staff, volunteers, and family members--in mind. As a means of highlighting the significance of design for those with dementia, this design thesis engages a case study approach, addressing the potential of one facility to be re-designed to improve the lives of its residents with dementia and their caregivers.