As the level of urbanization has increased, many people in Korea have begun to recognize the beneficial effects of plants in our immediate surroundings and involvement in horticultural activities. Today, an increasing number of Koreans attempt to improve the quality of life and enhance educational effectiveness through horticultural activities. Kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high schools have initiated garden-based programs. Some universities include courses focusing on horticulture applications to human well-being in their regular graduate programs or in their social education curricula. A few general hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and rehabilitation centers have begun applying horticulture as a means of treatment. Most of the research articles in Korea on various aspects of human issues in horticulture have been published since the foundation of two academic societies, the Korean Horticultural Therapy Association and the Korean Society for Plants, People, and Environment. These articles are primarily focused on the areas of school gardening, healing gardens, and psychological or physiological effects of horticultural activities. For the future development of human issues in horticulture in Korea, several areas need to be enhanced including: interdisciplinary studies of horticulture and social education; development of different skills, techniques,and scales to validate the effects of horticultural therapy, healing gardens, and gardening as a teaching tool in public education; and an organization empowered to certify horticultural therapists.
Hye Ran Kwack and Paula Diane Relf
Shannon E. Jarrott, Hye Ran Kwack and Diane Relf
Horticultural therapy (HT) is used across the lifespan with individuals with a wide range of physical, social, and cognitive abilities. Older adults make up a large group of participants in horticultural activities. As the population of older adults grows, more adults face the risk of experiencing a dementing illness. Many families turn to institutional care programs, such as nursing homes and adult day service (ADS) programs, for assistance with the care of their relative with dementia. HT may be an appropriate activity to incorporate into dementia care activity programs, but formal evaluations of such programs are limited. The current study evaluated a 10-week HT program conducted with adults with dementia at an ADS program. Observations indicated that participants engaged in the horticultural activities for greater periods of time than the nonhorticultural activities. Participant affect during the horticultural and nonhorticultural activities was comparable. HT is appropriate for dementia care programs serving adults with a wide range of cognitive, physical, and social needs, and it should be considered as a viable alternative to more typical dementia care program activities.