£1.3m boost for dementia gardens

Care homes to share in Big Lottery Fund grant

Outdoor spaces at care homes across the UK will be transformed as part of a £1.3m grant from the Big Lottery Fund aimed at improving support for people with dementia.

A total of 30 homes will benefit from the provision of ‘suitable, stimulating, accessible’ spaces that are more familiar to people with dementia, who often suffer from confusion and memory loss.

Delivered in conjunction with national charity, Learning Through Landscapes, the projects comes after a successful pilot in Herne Bay, Kent, where a care home’s outdoor space was transformed into a seaside complete with beach hut.

The charity also laid paths around the garden which always return to the beginning and planted flowerbeds with familiar blooms.

Sue Cliffe from Age UK Herne Bay said of the move: “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 wellbeing by improving mobility, increasing relaxation and reducing anxiety."

Announcing the new funding, Dawn Austwick, Big Lottery Fund chief executive, added: "This inspiring project will support people with dementia to be more independent.

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

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

Groundwork will manage and deliver the landscaping works; Thrive will deliver the training to care home staff; Age UK will provide expertise on project design and implementation for people living with dementia, as well as identify appropriate settings; and the University of Kent will deliver the evaluation and support the consultations.

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