Hospitals in Norway Embrace the Healing Power of Forests | doGood

 

Hospitals are an essential component of modern healthcare. We are fortunate to have so many facilities around the world that can treat injuries, illness, and disease.

There is only one problem with them: they tend to be boring, sterile environments. Finding inspiration while lying in a hospital bed is almost impossible.

If nature wants to heal us, why not take advantage of that opportunity?

Norwegian hospitals are trying to change that perspective by creating retreats known as “friluftssykehuset.” It is a term that emphasizes the importance of spending time in nature, providing a reprieve from the feelings of isolation that occur with chronic conditions.

Every Cabin is Wheelchair-Accessible

The journey from the hospital to the woods started with a handful of children coming out to play. As doctors noticed wellness benefits to their activities, more people began to find themselves in the forest.

Only those who had enough mobility and wellness could take advantage of these benefits. That’s why the initiative to create more spaces that are 100% wheelchair accessible became a priority.

Each cabin in the woods feels like a treehouse or fort from one’s childhood. There’s a bathroom, bedroom, and living area. Then each patient can use their imagination while enjoying their natural surroundings.

You can gaze at the towering trees through a skylight. Some patients sit by a creek while taking deep breaths of fresh air. Families with children enjoy the fire pit, even when the temperature plummets below freezing.

The cabins hold about ten people at a time.

 

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