Gardening in a Dementia Care Home scenario has a multitude of benefits which may be obvious to some, especially if you're a gardener yourself, If you have a suitable space available, creating a garden, even if it isn't very big, will add a valuable asset to your care home.
- It's a popular activity
- Encourages people outside
- It's a very economical pass-time, especially once you're up and running
- It creates something visually attractive
- Stimulates the mind and memories
- It can be an interactive experience
In a dementia care setting we can make greater use of the garden by considering the sense-of-place. Using outdoor pictures and a seasonal clock for example, we can support orientation in a variety of ways stimulating more memories and crucially, emotions too, thus making the garden significantly beneficial and supportive for people living in the care home with dementia.
There are dangers though and here, possibly more than anywhere else around the home, the dangers can be quite unexpected. When you look at the Planting for a sensory dementia garden, you will be surprised at the everyday plants and flowers which are either toxic or irritant, or both! So assuming the physical environment has been constructed safely, careful attention must be paid to the planting within the garden baring in mind that anything may be touched or eaten at any time. There is a helpful list of toxic plants available to download here but when choosing your plants it's extremely helpful if you can make friends with a local Garden Centre. I've found they can be surprisingly knowledgeable and helpful, especially if they know what the garden is for - you may even get some freebies!!
For more information on the benefits of making a garden available in a dementia care home you can download the Alzheimer's Society guidance on sensory gardens by clicking here and you can also download information from an excellent resource called Thrive by clicking here.
If you would like help to create your garden please get in touch, we'll be delighted to help.