England

Lottery funds dementia care home gardens

Herne Bay care home garden Image copyright Big Lottery Fund
Image caption An Age UK care home garden in Herne Bay was landscaped in a pilot project

Thirty care homes are to have their gardens landscaped using a £1.3m National Lottery grant to improve the well-being of patients with dementia.

The Learning Through Landscapes charity said outdoor spaces in many dementia care homes were rarely used but residents missed their own gardens.

It follows a pilot project at a care home in Herne Bay, Kent, which was given a seaside area.

A beach hut reminded residents of visits to the coast, the charity said.

'Watching wildlife'

The landscaper also laid paths which always return to the beginning and beds with familiar flowers, said Sue Cliffe, from Age UK Herne Bay.

"Since we have made the changes our service users engage so much more with the outdoors.

"They are now able to go outside on their own and can often be found with a cup of tea watching the wildlife in our new habitat area.

"We can see for ourselves how being outdoors and in the natural environment helps their health and well-being by improving mobility, increasing relaxation and reducing anxiety."

Dawn Austwick, Big Lottery Fund chief executive, said: "This inspiring project will support people with dementia to be more independent.

"Designed with input from the residents themselves, with familiar features that will stimulate their memories, these outdoor spaces will have a hugely positive impact on people's health and well-being."

The first 10 locations to benefit from the funding are:

  • Age UK, Crawley, West Sussex
  • Age UK, Maidstone, Kent
  • Craigbank Care Home, Glasgow
  • Three Cliffs Care Home, Swansea
  • Age NI Meadowbank, Omagh
  • The Dales Care Home, Maryport, Cumbria
  • Age UK, Manchester
  • Edith Moffat House, North Shields, Tyne and Wear
  • Cedar Grove Wellbeing Centre, Wallsend, Tyne and Wear
  • Evesham Community Hospital, Worcestershire

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