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Photo: Cath Manuel

Led down the garden path… to a smoother aged care transition

At one point in time you can imagine everyone had a garden that they relied on for food. You might be old enough to remember that, or you might do that still, but having a garden is becoming all too rare.

Horticulturalist Cath Manuel had a love of nature and gardening passed down from her parents and wants to instil that love, and the benefits that come with it, in others.

In 2011 she founded Soil to Supper to promote simple techniques, information and inspiring ideas to help people enjoy gardening activities, grow healthy gardens and harvest fresh food.

One important part of the work Soil to Supper do is what they call therapeutic gardening.

“Gardening as therapy has been used for years to cultivate health and wellbeing in people with disabilities, illnesses, diseases, the young, the elderly and people recovering from surgery, stroke, heart attack and other health issues,” Manuel says.

She also believes that gardens have a massive role to play in the integration period when someone first moves into residential aged care. The grief associated with the loss of a previous way of living, which may have included their own home and garden, can be offset or soothed by therapeutic gardening.

Aged Care Insite spoke with Manuel to hear about Soil to Supper and her work with celebrity chef Maggie Beer.

For more information go to soiltosupper.com

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