The longevity of a dementia-specific garden is dependent on the understanding of its therapeutic value, activity programs and maintenance regime.
People living with dementia often forget where they are going and from where they’ve come. This can be confining and inhibit them from exploring outdoors. By designing a garden that enables users to orientate themselves through visual cues they will gain a sense of control and in-turn self confidence.
Accessibility affects people living with dementia on both a physical and mental level. Ensure your garden is accessible to people living with dementia by removing the physical and mental barriers.
Enhance the quality of life of people living with dementia by creating opportunities to socialise and interact with friends, family, children, pets and carers.
5. Meaningful Activity
"People living with dementia still have the energy and desire to remain active and involved in the world around them. Throughout our lives, we develop activities and interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes, skills and talents that give our life structure and meaning and provide a sense of worth. These activities whether recreational or activities related to ordinary household tasks, establish a routine, provide opportunities for socialisation and help define who we are." Brawley, 2007
For people living with dementia encouraging the act of reminiscence can be highly beneficial to their inner wellbeing and their interpersonal skills. Reminiscence involves exchanging memories with others and the passing on of information, wisdom and skills. By incorporating reminiscence elements and activities, people living with dementia are able to engage with the world around them and retain feelings of value, importance, belonging and peace.
7. Sensory Stimulation
Sensory stimulation is important in the overall emotional wellbeing of people living with dementia. It can convey emotional support, affection and respect and also play a major part in helping people living with dementia communicate. Sensory stimulation is the engaging of any of our five senses – sight, sound, taste, touch and smell.
Safety can be the defining factor in whether a garden is allowed to be used or not. Ensure that all potential safety issues are addressed in the planning process of the garden.
- Graham-Cochrane, Tara. 2010. Gardens that Care: Planning Outdoor Environments for People with Dementia. South Australia, Australia: Alzheimer’s Australia SA Inc.
- Dementia Training Australia, dta.com.au