A Edgmere resident tends to her new flower pot. (Photo courtesy of Edgmere)

To sniff a flower is to connect with the natural world. It is a feast for the senses — you can observe its beauty while savoring its calming scent.

Memory care residents at Edgemere in Dallas fully immersed themselves in this world through a visit from the Edith’s Memory Garden program in partnership with the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. 

Named for Edith Royal, the widow of legendary University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal, the program is sponsored by AWARE, an organization supported by the Dallas Foundation and the Darrell K Royal Research Fund. The program can be enjoyed onsite at the arboretum or on the campus of a senior living community using specially designed raised beds, including wheelchair-accessible beds for those with mobility issues. 

In their home community of Edgemere, each participant was able to plant a flower in a separate pot while learning about its care from an arboretum volunteer. The residents then were able to take their potted plants with them to enjoy a piece of nature in their homes.

Not only was this an engaging, hands-on activity; it also served a therapeutic purpose. Studies indicate that physical activities associated with nature engender positive emotions and feelings of connectedness and well-being in people living with dementia. Just another gentle reminder that sometimes we all can stop and smell the roses.

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