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Kathy Enlow, Erica Merry, Gayle Erskine, Aaron Bor

Recently, senior residents of Mustang Creek Estates of Burleson gave back to Mother Nature by getting their green thumbs dirty in a hands-on activity. The assisted living residents and community team members gave back to the Earth by planting an interactive herb garden for the community’s memory care residents to enjoy, with herbs including mint, rosemary, basil, sage and thyme. The herbs are not only for the dining team to use when they prepare meals, tending to them can also have a calming effect on residents living with Alzheimer’s or other memory impairments. Every plant in the garden is entirely safe for ingestion. Mustang Creek Estates of Burleson chose to participate in Earth Day this year because many of their residents take pride in gardening and wanted to honor their commitment by giving back to the Earth.

“Our residents had a blast during the gardening activity. It was truly a fun afternoon, but most importantly it gave everyone a sense of purpose,” said Karen Jennings, executive director of Mustang Creek Estates of Burleson. “We believe it is important to protect the Earth and continue to plant herbs, flowers and trees.”

Working in the herb garden helps enhance memory, improve brain function and stimulate the minds of seniors living with memory impairments. In addition, spending time in a sensory garden can assist with sleeping at night, improve the appetite and boost energy levels. The residents of Mustang Creek Estates of Burleson who planted the garden for their neighbors also experienced many benefits, including mood regulation, decrease of stress and a sense of responsibility. This close-up look demonstrated how the assisted living and memory care community always creates ways to keep the residents engaged through interactive and fun activities.

“Some of our residents planted flowers or gardened as a hobby, and we’re excited to offer them another way to be outside and get their hands in the soil again. This project truly benefits our whole community,” said Jennings. “We plan to celebrate Earth Day every year because we believe it is important to raise awareness about our environment and our plants in this worldwide celebration.”

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