Winter, even a mild one seems interminable when you want to get out in the garden. But once the sun starts to get a little higher in the sky and has that wonderful warmth about it, there's no better place to be than outside. A safe, carefully planted and thoughtfully laid out garden can be a huge asset to any dementia care home.
The benefits of getting outside are plentiful - exercise, sunlight, engaging activities, interaction, reminiscence and generally stimulating all the senses and the mind too.These have beneficial effects on nutrition, sleep patterns, falls, and most aspects of mental and physical health and well-being.
When we think about a sensory garden we seldom think beyond the planting - which is an important element of course - but thinking-outside-the-box we can stimulate other senses with a water feature and wind chimes for example, and we can also include more unusual elements such as an outdoor seasonal clock and pictorial display panels. Graphical elements manufactured for outdoor use add another facet of value to the garden by reinforcing the typically overlooked sense-of-place and stimulating the emotions of memories through reminiscence.
A large Sun-sail is another useful addition as it allows people to be outside for longer as they can be protected from direct sunlight.
Click here for more information on Gardening for Dementia Care Homes. There are links to some useful downloads and resources and if you would like help creating your garden space, however large or small it may be let us know by clicking here and we'll get right back to you.