Creative Spaces; a growing project
This article was published in the July/Aug 2013 edition of the Journal of Dementia Care (Vol 21/No 4)
Wendy Brewin talks about the many benefits arising from a project which began to develop a new garden in a care home – but grew into something so much more
Since September last year we’ve worked with almost 150 home carers and supporting volunteers and nearly 100 people diagnosed with dementia. These people have helped us to develop activities that encourage greater connection with other people as well as with the outdoors; that stimulate conversation, laughter and a greater understanding of others as individuals with lives still to be lived.
Our activities also helped build friendships. Over the three years, 64 young people from a range of local organisations participated with the residents in nature-based activities and trips out to inspirational landscapes and helped out at summer fetes at the care home. The young people gained skills in communicating with people with dementia, dementia awareness, basic horticulture and film-making. Over time, mutual respect between the generations developed into friendships as people got to know one another and fear of dementia disappeared.
So don’t waste an opportunity to get outside or to bring nature inside if you can: it’s a powerful aid in dementia care (or any other for that matter) and shouldn’t be underestimated.