Garden Therapy at Shoals

Therapy Assistant Constructs Garden Boxes

Alana Hill, a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant at J.W. Sommer Rehabilitation Unit at Shoals Hospital, got a bit of spring fever recently.

In working with her patients, she heard a similar refrain: They were all ready to get home so they could tend to their gardens. Alana decided to bring the garden to them. She constructed to boxes; one is filled with shade-loving plants that help patients stand, while the shorter garden box allows them to roll up to it in order to improve their fine motor skills and grip.

“I’m really learning a lot about gardening from my patients,” she said. “They want to come outside to do the work of therapy but also to water the plants, deadhead the flowers, and weed the beds.”

Patients like Helen Cox said she couldn’t think of a better way to spend a portion of her time in therapy.

Pictured in the photo are Alana Hill, standing, and Helen Cox, J.W. Sommer patient.

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