People generally enjoy being outside and even more so when in a pleasant surroundings. The feeling of space along with natures inherent sensory stimulation makes a Sensory Garden a really good idea and an excellent resource.
Even a small area with simple paving, planting and places to sit can hugely beneficial, making a space that is pleasurable to sit in and take in the scents and sounds. Wind, cold and warmth along with textured surfaces and planting add additional sensory benefits, whilst colourful planting and sensory garden features make a feast for the eyes.
Being outside is ideal for people with Alzheimer’s who may feel restless or agitated. Allowing space for them to roam freely, providing exercise and reducing aggression, tension and anxiety. A great resource which will enable you the raise the standard of dementia care you provide.
A well designed dementia friendly garden will incorporate relaxing places to sit, allowing time for reflection whilst providing privacy if required. This is not only beneficial to the client but also staff and carers.
A sensory garden can also be a great social space. They allow for communication and relationships to be built. Outdoor activities such as gardening or giant games can be done to further improve the quality of life.
A “Memory Garden” is a good idea. This is a great therapeutic activity which will really aid people with dementia. We have all experienced things, met different people and been to different places. Getting to know a client and providing these memory triggers in a calming space is highly beneficial. Certain smells, lying on grass, seeing and hearing wildlife are all great triggers. You could even build a beach or incorporate an old telephone box or post-box. A garden can be designed to encourage reminiscence. This will in turn create conversation, with carers, family and each other.
Careful planning is always required to make sure a outdoor space is well designed, not only from an aesthetic perspective but also from a practical and operational one. Security and accessibility is important, as is a combination of privacy, yet supervision.
We are here to help you with your sensory garden design and installation. We will discuss you requirements and priorities. Safety is always important. Making the area secure with safe level pathways. In many cases a circuit of pathways is best. Any junction should have an environmental flag or landmark. Raised planting and seating areas along with a shaded area for when the sun is at its worst. The layout should allow for line of sight and be designed for both the able bodied and those in wheelchair and be equally accessible to all.