Karin Diedrich-Closson and Winston Blake dig up the dirt in a raised planter at Saskatoon City Hospital. “It’s nice to be outside enjoying the weather and away from the traditional therapy setting,” says Diedrich-Closson.Planting-Bee
It was intended to provide rehabilitation therapy, but the planting bee organized by the Saskatoon City Hospital Green Team and by occupational therapists was well-timed for the dash of summer the province experienced at the end of August. “The grounds crew was essential in making the planter available for this project,” says Jocelyn Orb, sustainability coordinator for the Region.
At the Rehabilitation Centre in SCH one afternoon this summer, clients transformed the planter next to the parking garage into a beautiful perennial garden.
During the gardening sessions, clients worked with their occupational therapists on their therapeutic goals: physical goals such as improving balance or regaining coordination and strength in an arm; cognitive goals such as increasing attention span or sequencing a task; perceptual goals, such as visual scanning and manipulating objects.
Occupational therapy provides the skills for the job of living to help people lead productive and satisfying lives. Occupational therapists consider occupation to be everything people do to occupy themselves, including looking after themselves (self-care), enjoying life (leisure), and contributing to the social and economic fabric of their communities (work/productivity). Occupational therapy works to break down the barriers which impede individuals in their everyday activities by examining not only the physical effects of an injury or disease, but also address the psycho-social, community and environmental factors that influence function.
“Using an enjoyable hobby as therapy is beneficial for clients,” says Diedrich-Closson. “They work on their physical strength, balance and endurance while working on a hobby they love. There were lots of laughs and companionship within the group. “
And of course, after a long hospital stay, everyone benefits from spending time outside in the sunshine and participating in a fun and familiar activity!