American Orchards Senior Community Participates in Nature Room Study

Posted on Posted in Press Release

The senior living community offers a unique therapeutic approach for the care of people with dementia.

GILBERT, Ariz. — Lori Reynolds, an occupational therapist and gerontologist, along with a team of researchers recently conducted a study on the benefits of viewing nature for persons with Alzheimer’s disease, at American Orchards Senior Community. A nature room was created for the study, and results show that viewing nature had significantly positive outcomes of improving stress-related emotions and behaviors commonly experienced by individuals with dementia. Further studies are to follow using the nature room and implementation of the Pathways of Promise program at American Orchards. Along with providing top-quality care services with the latest therapies for memory care, the community includes nature-centered therapeutic amenities such as water features, aquariums, outdoor areas with views of the surrounding community, and an indoor nature room.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity to conduct the nature room study at American Orchards!” said Dr. Reynolds. “I’m so proud of this work and its contribution to improving the lives of individuals with dementia.”

Lori Reynolds holds a PhD in Gerontology from the University of Kentucky. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Northern Arizona University at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. Her knowledge of the aging process, and important elements needed in living environments, along with her certification in Health Care Garden Design, from the Chicago Botanical Garden, allows her insight into effective design of senior living that promotes optimal abilities and wellbeing among residents. Lori’s research is on living environments that promote wellbeing and fullness of living for older adults, nature inclusive environments for senior living, and the importance of inter-professional design collaborations.

American Orchards partnered with Dr. Reynolds as a consultant during the design and construction of its beautiful grounds and community. She offered input on design features, outdoor spaces and is in discussions for wellness programming in future projects. The property was developed by Benjamin Searle and Casey Balmforth of American Care Concepts, which also manages the community.

“I have known Ben and Casey for nearly 5 years,” said Dr. Reynolds. “In all of our discussions about the design of senior living communities, they have always been keenly interested in the latest research to support programming and advance design of their communities. In many ways, they are leading the national trends in senior living.”

For more information about American Orchards, Pathways of Promise, or the nature room study, contact Casey Balmforth, COO and Managing Member at (480) 887-0599, or visit

About American Orchards Senior Community:

American Orchards Senior Community was founded in 2016 and has become the premier senior assisted living and dementia care community in Gilbert, Arizona. The community provides personalized care to each of its residents in an environment that is truly unique and inspiring. With around-the-clock well-trained nurses and caregivers, coupled with innovative technology and, the organization provides assistance and support with daily activities while always promoting dignity and independence. Pathways of Promise, American Orchards’ exclusive dementia care program, was developed in collaboration with Dr. Reynolds and American Care Concepts using the latest informed research on best practices in dementia care. Visit to learn more.