Care Farms for People with Dementia

Poey, J., Fischer, M., & Caspi, E. (2016). Green Care Farms: Connecting elders with community. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Society on Aging, March 22, Washington D.C.

To access the poster, click here: judy-poeys-asa-poster-care-farms-final

Potential Therapeutic Benefits of Participation of People with Dementia in Care Farms – June 23 2015

Vimeo on a Care Farm for people with dementia in the Netherlands:

Interview with Dr. Simone de Bruin about Green Care Farms for people living with dementia:

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio show on Care Farms for people with dementia:

For more information about Care Farms for people living with dementia, please contact me at:

My colleagues and I are working on ways to adapt, develop, and implement the extensive and successful European model of Care Farms for people with dementia (particularly the Netherlands and Norway) and Maarten Fischer’s Lifeside Care Farming program in Montana (also called Flathead Care Farming) to Minnesota, Wisconsin, and other states.

Maarten, who is a Dutch native and an international expert in Multi-Functional Farms has recently received the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging’s 2015 Promising Practices Award for his innovative and groundbreaking program.

To see the announcement of the award, click here:

Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging Award to Maarten Fischer Flathead Care Farming – Lifeside Farms_PromisingPractices2015_FNL

A recent study by Prof. Keith Anderson, University of Montana, evaluated the Lifeside Care Farming program and has shown promising outcomes. The research article is anticipated to be published in the coming months.


Green care farms (GCFs) provide opportunities to adults with disabilities to engage in meaningful and therapeutic activities in farm settings. In this pilot study, the researchers examined the feasiblity and initial impact of the first GCF in the United States (US). Qualitative interviews (N = 19) were conducted, followed by thematic analysis and structuring the data within the RE-AIM framework. GCF participants and family members were enthusiastic about participation (Reach) and identified an array of benefits, including improved mood and respite (Effectiveness). Administrators and farmers indicated that the GCF model challenged the status quo of funding, programming, and farming operations and that Adoption and Implemtation required creativity and acceptance of risk. Administrators speculated that Maintanence of the GCF program relies upon administrative expertise, local relationships, and managing liability. GCFs appear to be feasible in the US and represent an innovative and potentially effective alternative to traditional adult day services.

List of studies on Care Farms for people living with dementia

Bruin, S.R. et al. (2015). Green Care Farms: An innovative type of adult day service to stimulate social participation of people with dementia. Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, Open Access, pages 1-10. Link:

Bruin et al. (2010). The concept of green care farms for older people with dementia: An integrative framework. Dementia, 9(1), 79-128. Link:

Bruin et al. (2009). Day care at green care farms: A novel way to stimulate dietary intake of community-dwelling older people with dementia? The Journal of Nutrition, Health, & Aging, 14(5), 352-357. Link:

Bruin et al. (2009). Green care farms promote activity among elderly people with dementia. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 23, 368-389. Link:

de Boer et al. (2015). Living at the farm, innovative nursing home care for people with dementia – study protocol of an observational longitudinal study. BMC Geriatrics, 15, 1-9. [Open Access]

Elings, M. Effects of Care Farms: Scientific research on the benefits of care farms for clients (pages 34-37 under the heading: Older people with dementia). Plant research international. Wageningen, UR. Link:

Hassink et al. (2010). Care farms in the Netherlands: Attractive empowerment-oriented and strengths-based practices in the community. Health & Place, 16, 423-430:

Schols & van der Schriek-van Meel (2006). Day care for demented elderly in a dairy farm setting: Positive first impressions. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 7, 456-459. Link: