Background & Objectives:
Living through Landscapes is a pioneering project to support people with dementia by transforming outdoor spaces at 30 care homes across the UK. The project is led by national charity Learning through Landscapes and being delivered in partnership with Groundwork, Age UK, Kent University and Thrive.
The Living through Landscapes programme has supported thirty settings to improve the use of outside space through a ‘dementia friendly’ consultation and engagement process, landscape changes, and training and support.
Groundwork Landscape Architects have designed and delivered over half of these outdoor spaces including 2 in Northern Island, Stornoway on the island of Lewis, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Maryport, Cumbria, Stockton on Tees and Tyneside.
Despite the fact that most dementia care settings have an outside space, our initial consultations suggest they are used rarely if at all, that service providers feel they are unsafe, or they lack confidence and resources to encourage better use of their space.
Transformation of outdoor spaces in these 30 centres has provided attractive usable gardens which are delivering a range of health and wellbeing benefits for residents and centre users with dementias. The gardens have been sensitively designed for people with dementia including: accessible paths, brightly coloured handrails, seating, shaded rest areas, raised beds for tending plants, planting schemes for scent and colour and circular access routes.
“The garden is lovely I’m not very good at gardening but I’m up for learning new things. The place for putting the plants is great”Response from Chrissie McAllister, with dementia using the Solas day care centre in Stornoway: