Green thumb therapy

Occupational therapy students Cheryl Loo, Emily Higgins and Gina Rehm. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d407689
Occupational therapy students Cheryl Loo, Emily Higgins and Gina Rehm. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d407689

School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work lecturer Ben Milbourn said about 200 students in nine classes were involved in the program.

‘Gardening can be really beneficial to the people that our occupational therapy students will be helping in the future,’ Mr Milbourn said.

‘It can be used in rehabilitation by rebuilding strength after an accident or an illness.’

Mr Milbourn said there is a lot of evidence of the benefits of gardening, and people of all ages can get involved.

‘It is a physical, mental and social activity, and can help with teamwork and communicating with others,’ he said. ‘We gave the students visual impairment glasses, which gets them to think about real-world problems and solutions for someone gardening with a disability.

‘Our students will be able to develop a person-centred care plan to help an individual on the road to recovery.’

All activities took place at the student vegetable garden at the Curtin University campus.

Occupational therapists assess and treat people who, because of illness, injury or circumstance, are limited in their ability to undertake activities of everyday life.

They help patients adjust to activities such as socialising, driving and holding a pen.

They assist people to regain lost functions, and maintain and promote their independence, health and wellbeing.