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  • Writer's pictureKay Savage

Dementia Study Seeks Participants

Gardening with a purpose could be the key to improving the quality of life for those with dementia, according to a joint study by The University of Queensland and The University of the Sunshine Coast.

The research project is examining how gardening can benefit people with dementia, particularly in terms of nurturing their sense of purpose.

Gardening is a really useful activity for people with dementia as they can pick it back up more easily than a craft project where they may have trouble remembering what they were up to.

Participants in the study contribute directly to The Mini Farm Project in Samford, which is working to resolve food insecurity by growing produce for people in need and donates around 50 kilograms of produce a week to Meals on Wheels.

According to Dr Kris Tulloch, a psychology lecturer at UniSC, spending time outdoors is already known to be beneficial for people living with dementia. However, gardening provides a useful activity as it is easier to pick up than a craft project where participants may have trouble remembering what they were doing.

Gardening with a meaningful cause adds an extra layer to the gardening experience, and the study aims to investigate how a "sense of purpose" can impact people living with dementia and their carers.

The Mini Farm Project Founder and CEO, Nick Steiner, said the research project would help build relationships and work towards the project's goal of building a community.

“One in six adults in Australia hasn’t had enough to eat in the past year, and even more shockingly, 1.2 million children have gone hungry,” said Mr Steiner.

“This project helps us spread our message and work with others to grow food for those in need.”

The study, funded by the Australian Association of Gerontology, is currently accepting applications from people with dementia and their caregivers to take part in the project. The project is suitable for people who do not need to use a wheelchair or walker to move around.

For more information on how to get involved, email Dr Tulloch at or text 0434 706 063.


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