This month’s Spotlight is on Fred Ellman, a man with a mission to deliver joy to the lives of Elders with dementia. He presented “Growing Mindfulness,” which showcased his Flying Compassion Garden. With Fred’s background as a toy maker, he brings imagination, connection and mindfulness together in a physical form. He shared his interactive horticulture garden and its power with all of us.
This garden was created with four goals in mind. First, to connect the person with dementia with his/her care partner in a respectful manner that stimulates conversation and memories in a way that creates relaxed interactions. The second goal is to bring the natural calm of plant care and mindfulness meditation to ease anxiety and promote well-being. He then brings the person and the plants together as his third goal focuses on caring for the live plants while engaging the person with dementia in purposeful activity. The final goal, which is a culmination of the first three is to use imagination as a fundamental connection and foundation of activities to promote joy and self-confidence.
This amazing experience is done with an actual meditative garden that Fred creates personally and delivers or sends to people who request them. His program is 4 sessions in length. When in person, he provides guided meditation with the individuals with dementia and their care partners, and uses the garden as a way to live out the connection. To meet the needs of others who are distant, he provides the guided meditation via Zoom, and the person with dementia and his/her care partner can enjoy the interaction with the garden at home.
This experience incorporates physical actions of watering and pruning plants, and reading and understanding beautifully designed cards that provide information in brilliant colors and designs. His creation is truly calming, peaceful and connecting.
Should you desire more information on this project, please contact us.