Spirituality and aging in place: the impact of extreme climatic conditions on domestic gardening practice

Adams, J., Pascal, J. and Dickson-Swift, V. (2014) Spirituality and aging in place: the impact of extreme climatic conditions on domestic gardening practice. The International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 80 (1). pp. 10-26. ISSN 0091-4150

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There is limited research exploring how domestic water restrictions imposed as a result of drought conditions impact upon the lives of independently living older people. Within this age group (60 years plus), the domestic garden frequently forms an intrinsic component of ongoing health and well-being. Gardening practice offers components of both mental and physical activity and, for many older people, leads to emotional and spiritual connection on a number of levels. The capacity of older people to maintain a garden during a period of water restrictions is greatly reduced, and the resulting impact on health and well-being is considerable. A recent study, conducted in south-eastern Australia, aimed to determine the benefits to health and well-being of maintaining a domestic garden for older people and the impact of water restrictions on garden practice. This occurred at a time following a prolonged period of drought and, in central Victoria, a complete ban on outside watering. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 10 gardeners aged between 60 and 83 who had tended their garden over an extended period. The lived experience of gardening was explored through hermeneutic phenomenological analysis. Clear benefits to health and well-being were established, and yet, the essence of this experience lay in the capacity of gardeners to remain connected to their garden despite change. The crisis imposed by ongoing drought and restricted use of water generated a strong impetus for adaptation, resilience and acceptance of change. The spiritual nature of gardening practice clearly emerged and appeared to intensify the experience of gardening and consolidate adaption to change on a number of levels.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: School of Social Science
Depositing User: Emma Sansby
Date Deposited: 26 May 2016 07:39
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2018 13:39
URI: https://bgro.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/40

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