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My Nature: Supporting healthcare professionals to improve older people’s sensory experiences of the natural world

We are collaborating with The European Centre for Environment & Human Health (ECEHH) and Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care - South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC)  to design and develop a training toolkit to enhance the quality of life for older people living in residential and nursing care (including older people living with dementia).

So far we have been trialling resources and approaches with our care home pilot sites and we will be publishing our initial findings soon.

The background

This project builds upon our previous work with ECEHH and Pen-CLAHRC conducting a systematic review published in BMC Geriatrics assessing the health and wellbeing benefits of outdoor sensory experiences for older people. The review focused on how older people describe their sensory engagement with the outside world. 

Following the publication of the systematic review we jointly hosted a collaborative workshop in Cornwall to share our review findings with representatives from the care sector. It was a great opportunity for mutual learning, making new contacts and finding out how our findings could be more user friendly for care workers.

participants at a sensory trust training event

My Nature: a training toolkit

The toolkit will help staff in care homes to deliver meaningful nature based activities to their residents. It will feature tips on organising activities and removing common barriers, including supporting bed-bound residents to experience nature  This will benefit older people by increasing their engagement with nature and enable those working in the care sector to increase their understanding of research within the field of nature and older people's care.

The toolkit will be piloted through a series of creative workshops in two care home settings in Cornwall - Coombe House, Liskeard and Castle Hill House, Bodmin. Findings and case studies from the pilot will be disseminated to care homes and the research community.

older people gardening

If you are interested in finding out more or you are a care home that would like to get involved please contact Wendy Brewin on 01726 229000 or email

Read more about about the project aims and outputs from PenCLAHRC



Members of the dementia friendly walking group


Outdoor Space and Dementia: A systematic review - a study examining the impact of gardens and outdoor spaces on the mental and physical well-being of people with dementia who are resident in care homes.

Sensory engagement - projects, ideas and examples of how to connect with nature through the senses

Age friendly landscapes - designing outdoor spaces for older people

European Centre for Environment and Human Health - find out more about the Centre's research work

How can care home gardens improve dementia patient care.