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Living with Dementia and the benefits of gardening
Gardening can have a profound impact on someone’s quality of life, especially those living with dementia. Gardens provide a familiar environment of relaxation, sensory stimulation and can also help to create a sense of community.
With a wide range of benefits for both physical and mental wellbeing, gardening provides an excellent activity for someone living with dementia.
Gardens are often perceived as places of happiness and joy, whether from childhood memories of playing, seeing and smelling your favourite flowers, or taking part in gardening as a relaxing hobby in later life, they can often spark brilliant memories.
As gardening is a familiar activity for many, taking part in activities designed around the garden will help encourage memories and conversation for someone living with dementia. For those who may not be able to take part in physical gardening, simply setting up a place where they can sit and relax will help spark conversations as they reflect and reminisce.
As we get older our senses can diminish and it is important to provide dementia activities which can engage and stimulate a variety of senses. Gardens are an excellent platform for multi-sensory stimulation.
The scent of a favourite flower can bring back memories of the past, seeing the colours of the garden partnered with the ability to touch petals and hear wildlife can also help aid relaxation and create a brilliant sensory environment for someone living with dementia.
Gardening can be a very active hobby and has been shown to improve health and wellbeing. The acts of planting, using a trowel, sweeping or simply walking around a garden can have great health benefits. As well as providing a way to exercise, gardening can also help improve hand eye coordination and strength.
Loneliness often occurs in later life, and can become more prevalent with someone living with dementia if they struggle to communicate. Setting up a place where people can garden together can help bring about a sense of community and encourage socialisation.
Providing a place where someone can relax will help reduce agitation and aggression, plus improve sleep and increase energy. Gardens have been proven as excellent places for relaxation. Sitting amongst the wildlife, or taking care of the plants can help someone living with dementia as they take part in something which is familiar and known to be relaxing to them.
Whether you set up a small garden outside a care home, set up gardening activities indoors during poor weather or perhaps take your loved one to a garden centre where they can be amongst the flowers, the calming effect of gardens can have a resounding positive effect on your loved ones quality of life.
Active Minds www.active-minds.org firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 203 488 2001