Dementia Friendly Gardens
Theraputic Benefits of a Garden
- Promotes calmness, aids appetite and sleep
- Boosts oxygen levels and provides exercise
- Prevents boredom and depression
- Can help reduce stress
- Helps maintain balance, coordination, strength and stamina
- Boosts memory and reminiscence
Gardens Can Help People with Dementia
Most people living with dementia live either at home or in a care home and so many will have access to a garden. A garden is a place where a person with dementia can stay familiar with memorable activities. Exposure to the natural elements provides an overall sense of wellbeing and reduces stress, anxiety and depression.
Maintenance and Design
Involve the person with dementia and find out what sort of garden they enjoy. You might want to improve the view from windows, or make some changes to the garden for easier maintenance. Looking to the future you might want to improve access and safety with clear boundaries, pathways and handrails. Small changes like improving the sensory experience with fragrant plants in pots beside seating areas or adding a water feature can improve wellbeing and make a huge difference to the person using the garden.
The Design and Technology Suite at the Dementia Services Development Centre in Stirling is a permanent display of interior rooms and equipment, exterior and garden spaces, showing how they can be adapted to support the particular spatial and sensory needs of people with dementia. People with dementia, their carers, family and friends can visit and undertake free self-conducted audio tours.
Help in the Garden
A person with dementia may continue to enjoy working in the garden for many years but there may come a time when more help is needed.
You can contact OPAL (Information and Advice for Adults in East Dunbartonshire) 0141 438 2347 for information on local gardening services in East Dunbartonshire. You may be eligible for the East Dunbartonshire Care of Gardens Scheme.
Designing Outdoor Spaces for People with Dementia by Marshall and Pollock, DSDC, 2012