Wellness Care Farm
Developmental Disabilities & Dementia
Care farms are part of a growing 'ecotherapy' movement that utilizes use therapeutic farming practices. Care farms provide health, social or educational care services for a range of people and provides farming-related activities.
Nourishing Hearts Wellness Care Farm
Here at Nourishing Hearts we tailor our activities on individual strengths and provide additional support and modifications to meet unique needs of individuals and families. We believe our community is strengthened by diversity and inclusion for all people.
Nourishing Hearts Wellness Care Farm offers a quiet and safe environment for people with all different abilities. The farmstead allows for many opportunities for outdoor activities, exercise and contact with animals and nature. The care farm nourishes a sense of community, provides a place of belonging, acceptance and opportunity for meaningful engagement.
Passport is a program that helps adults 18 years or older with a developmental disability to participate in their communities. It also helps caregivers of an adult with a developmental disability take a break from their caregiving responsibilities.
Passport provides funding for services and supports so adults with a developmental disability can:
Potential therapeutic benefits of participation in Care Farms include:
Written By:Eilon Caspi Ph.D. (Adapted)
1. Being outdoors and maintaining connections with nature
2. Working on a Care Farms offers many opportunities for naturally occurring physical activities
3. Multi-sensory stimulation is provided through the inherent characteristics of farms and the wide variety of activities offered. Enabling people to use all their senses. Being in nature offers frequent spontaneous (“organic”) opportunities for using these senses.
4. Doing the different chores on the Care Farm can give people the feeling that they are needed, useful, and contributing members of society.
5. Plenty of opportunities for learning and personal and occupational growth. Enhanced learning through:
The broad and diverse range of activities and chores done on a Care Farms can promote choice, personalization, stronger sense of autonomy and identity, and varied opportunities for learning and growth when adapted to the person’s current preferences and cognitive abilities and disabilities.
6. Working closely together with the farmer/therapist and peers may provide natural opportunities for socialization and friendships (with the farmer/therapist and with peers).
7. The unique, personal, and humane approach of the care farmer/therapist toward people with disabilities is considered a big part of the success of Care Farms.
To be successful in building these relationships, the farmer/therapist has high-quality training in areas such as:
8. When planned and delivered well, engagement of people with disabilities in the different activities and chores on Care Farms could help reduce various forms of behavioral expressions and promote positive emotional states.
It could lead to reduction in feelings of anxiety and “aggressive” behaviors and use of psychotropic medications (which are mostly ineffective, have many adverse and risky side effects, and are expensive)
9. Care Farms offer natural opportunities to meet the spiritual needs of people with disabilities (such as through simply being, regular connections with nature, caring for animals, working in the fields, and growing and harvesting vegetables and fruits).
While the spiritual needs of people with disabilities are critical, this integral aspect of their psychological well-being is often overlooked
10. The combination of strength-based and empowerment-oriented approach along with the “normal life” characteristics.
The informal non-medical atmosphere of Care Farms are dedicated to people with disabilities to assist in reducing the widely-held and harmful stigma experienced by many people living with the disease
11. Respite for Family Care Partners
"Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.
Walk beside me and be my friend."