In our last article we discussed the benefits of gardening therapy and what advantages the experts have put forward in support of outdoor activity.
Understandably, in the summer months you will want to enjoy being outside in your own garden or your loved one’s. If you are considering making your own garden into a dementia-friendly space, then here are some things your garden should or might include.
- Gardens and parks are wonderful spaces to be in no matter what your age or stage in life. Yet there are some precautions you must take to ensure safety.
- Here is what you need to take into consideration to have a safe space for your loved one to engage with:
- Make sure your plants are safe to eat. A person with dementia may not understand that a plant could be harmful to them, so eliminate the risk of making them sick. Stick to edible plants.
- Don’t leave anything around that your loved one could cut themselves with.
- Surfaces should be safe to walk on, and the same colour to avoid confusion.
- Encourage the use of sun cream. It can be particularly dangerous for someone to be out between 11am and 3pm. Make sure they drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Fences should stop people leaving the site.
- You should be able to look out from inside and see people in the garden.
- Engage with the senses by including lots of colourful blooms.
- Include herbs and spices that release a smell into the air and that you can taste.
- A path in the shape of the number eight so people can walk around as many times as they like.
- Nostalgic objects can be a fun addition to the garden for reminiscing activities.
- Add a small water feature, sculptures or a wind chime to create landmarks on the path.
- A garden is a living thing, so encourage nature to interact with the space. Use bird seed to entice different species to fly around the garden.
- Leave one part of the garden wild and meadow-like to attract wildlife
- A nesting box could be fun to include for various gardening-themed activities, or even for reminiscing conversation starters.
- Consider putting up a pergola or patio cover so it is possible to enjoy the space in all weather conditions.
- Include some comfortable outdoor furniture items for relaxation.
Gardens provide an excellent means of relaxation, of being in the moment and creating purpose and satisfaction.
If the person in your care is not able to enjoy a space outside, the good news is that Me2U Centre is in the process of landscaping a garden for guests to take part in garden therapy or just to sit and take in the fresh air. We look forward to sharing this new addition with our clients very soon.
If you are looking after someone who may benefit from the therapies we have to offer at Me2U Centre, please call: 07888 649822.