For some California senior citizens, gardening is more than just a hobby - it's a treatment for cognitive decline.
In a news report by the PBS affiliate in San Diego, health reporter Kenny Goldberg spent some time with a dementia patient as she tended to a garden and witnessed the possible benefit gardening had on a patient with the debilitating condition.
According to Goldberg, a small woman named Alice was led to a garden and told of various projects that were scheduled: planting, deadheading and making plant markers, according to the article.
When Alice's hands reportedly touched the soil, something happened.
"I had a huge yard, 33 trees, 24 rose bushes, we had a big, big, big yard. Apricot, and a fig, and a lemon and a lime. And we were on a steep hill. I kept falling, but luckily it was dirt," said Alice.
Dr. Christina Gigliotti told the news provider horticulture therapy can be more productively engaged and that dementia patients reacted more positively to it than other activities like coloring.
Research has found gardening has a multitude of health benefits for senior citizens such as improving emotional health as well as getting exercise.