Josie Anhorn

Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Nicole Harris


The population of older adults has been rising exponentially in recent years (Duffin, 2022), leading to an influx in people moving into retirement or independent living communities. This transition may cause many changes in the new residents’ occupational participation and overall well-being. Research has shown specific areas of concern in socialization, nutrition, self-esteem, physical abilities, and continued participation in meaningful occupations (Holland et al., 2017; Knecht-Sabres et al., 2020; Smith, 2015; Sommerfeld et al., 2018; Swann, 2006; Swann, 2010). Gardening has been shown to positively impact these areas of health and well-being and ease some of the negative symptoms (Thompson, 2018). A program was developed that focused on the use of gardening activities in a group setting to improve areas of wellness and nutrition, with the purpose of increasing self-confidence and self-perception.