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A Living Reminder

Articles: A Living Reminder

The Central pavilion at the Portland Memory Garden serves as orientation point for visitors. Photo: Patty Cassidy

[sidebar]For more information and a side show of images visit Portland Memory Garden[/sidebar]

In 1999, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) marked its centennial anniversary by creating 100 parks in 100 cities across the United States. This led to the creation of the Portland Memory Garden, one of eight demonstration gardens especially designed for older adults and those living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, and one of only two such “memory gardens” in the United States built on public land.

Not to be confused with memorial gardens that honor individuals who have died, a memory garden is designed to provide sensory stimulation for older adults with memory disorders and respite for their caregivers. The goal is to create a safe environment that also serves to spark memories of the past. Because fragrance is such a strong trigger, old-fashioned plants like climbing roses, lilacs, geraniums, and herbs help evoke memories, initiate dialogue, and enhance soc...

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