Lots of information here to help you make the most of your outside space, with numerous links to reports, products and services. (We are in the process of updating this page.)
Whether you have a window box or five acres of parkland or, rather more likely, something in between, there is huge scope for putting the space to good use, safely and not necessarily with huge financial outlay.
It’s the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show early July, and the key RHS theme of ‘Health, Happiness and Horticulture’ is strongly represented in the chosen designs, which makes them particularly relevant when considering what is appropriate for people living with dementia. Take a wander through the designs here.
This is a useful extract from the Alzheimer Society’s publication, ‘Taking part: activities for people with dementia…’ on how to make your garden dementia-friendly: Click here
Designing outdoor spaces for people with dementia: this book brings together disparate fields to share the same fundamental philosophy: being outside is critical for people with dementia, be it a rooftop, balcony, porch, open space, or garden. Described as thought provoking, insightful, and inspiring, you can place your order here.
It’s the people… The evidence continues to grow as to the beneficial impact on people living in care homes of being able to get outside safely, and an expanding knowledge base on how to make the most of what space is available. However, the most crucial element of all, Step Change Design has discovered after a year long research project, is that it is the people and not the garden itself that influences how active and meaningful the garden will be for the residents. Read more here…
For the winter: it may be difficult to get outside, so bring some outside colour indoors: Organic Gardening has identified six winter blooming plants to brighten up your windowsills… Read more here.
Ernest Cornish was commended in the Green Fingered category of Anchor’s Happy Living Awards in 2015. Ernest shares his top gardening tips here.
Well designed outdoor environments can have a major impact on health-related behaviour in long-term care settings, potentially leading to substantial therapeutic benefits, says the International Academy for Design and Health who found a strong correlation between outdoor usage, walking, physical activity, environmental satisfaction and self reported health of the residents surveyed. Read the full report here...
A study reviewing no less than 17 different pieces of research found that outdoor spaces offer environments that boost relaxation, encourage physical activity and also lowers agitation among people. Read the full report here…
Rootless Garden creates bespoke projects for older people in care. Each project begins with their signature tea-blending session, which helps them to tailor their activities to suit the needs and fulfil the wishes of each person. Their portfolio includes projects such as social clubs, art, and indoor/outdoor gardening activities using social therapeutic horticulture. They also encourage younger volunteers to come along. Their work transforms environments, improves social lives, helps people both physically and psychologically and provides novel opportunities for learning. See the rootless garden website or email Nadia on firstname.lastname@example.org
Read about the story of the building and development of a healing garden project in Persley Castle Nursing Home in Aberdeen in a way that recognizes the spiritual nature of therapeutic gardening: Healing Garden at Persley Castle Nursing Home.
A leading physician has suggested that plants can help reduce stress, anger and depression, and if that’s not a list of conditions commonly found among those living with dementia I don’t know what is! Read more here…
Thrive is a small national charity using gardening to change lives: Thrive website
Garuth Chalfont runs a research and design consultancy and has produced a handbook which explains in detail how outdoor environments in care settings can be used to better support the needs of people with dementia. It is free to download from the Chalfont Design website.
Carehomes.co.uk has published a wide ranging and informative article on Sensory Gardens.
David Wall, fellow of the National Vegetable Society, explains how herbs and vegetables can offer a sensory experience in his article here: Gardening for Care Homes.