Bartletts, Care Home Maintenance, Care Management, Dementia, Landscaping and Dementia, Merryfield, Real life, Stone House, Wellbeing

Spring has sprung

Enjoying the gardens during spring 2019 at Peverel Court Care

 

The arrival of spring and the benefits to our residents

 

With the recent spell of lovely warm weather, our residents have been taking the opportunity to get outside and explore the newly landscaped gardens of our homes.

At Peverel Court Care, we understand that creating and delivering individual care plans and maintaining a focus on resident well-being is a key part of the service we deliver, and providing time outdoors forms an intrinsic part of that.

Therefore, with the arrival of spring, it has been the perfect time for our residents to get outside to enjoy the warmth of the spring sunshine, to take in the fresh air, and to explore the new sights and smells of the plants and flowers in our idyllic grounds.

Even for those residents who aren’t so keen to get outside exploring, the natural light that pours into the rooms on our new wing provides them with similar benefits.

 

Benefits to resident health

 

But there’s more to getting our residents to spend time outdoors than meets the eye. In fact, there have been numerous rigorous scientific studies conducted, which have all concluded that there are a multitude of benefits for elderly care home residents when they get to enjoy time in an outdoor space.

Spending time out in the grounds allows them to get exercise in the fresh air. And particularly for elderly residents, research has shown that those who enjoyed as little as 10 or 15 minutes of activity a day, saw a significant improvement in their health. Furthermore, walking outdoors has been shown to reduce levels of stress, and to increase sociability, communication and self esteem, while there is also evidence that it can help to reduce cognitive decline.

Exposure to both daylight and sunlight while outdoors is also important; as sunlight provides us with Vitamin D, which is essential for building strong bones and muscle, while sunlight helps with regulating our body clock. So our residents don’t need to get too adventurous; even just having a cup of tea and a natter out in the garden has added benefits.

 

Enjoying spring flowers in the gardens at Peverel Court Care

 

Peverel Court Care – our idyllic settings

 

Part of what makes the experience of living at one of Peverel Court Care’s three care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire so special for our residents is the unique setting and location of each home. A perfect example is that of Bartlett’s, our Residential Care Home, which is set in over 18 acres of private tranquil parkland with exceptional views of The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As our homes are all set within such charming grounds, and because spending time outdoors offers such proven benefits to our residents, it’s not surprising that the arrival of spring this year has once again been greeted with smiles by our residents.

 

Taking a walk outdoors to enjoy spring sunshine at Peverel Court Care

Bartletts, Landscaping and Dementia

Coming Soon to Bartlett’s – A Completely Unique Dementia Friendly Garden

Dementia is a difficult and uncomfortable truth. Unfortunately, many of us will experience it in our lifetime, if not because we must live with it ourselves, then because someone we love will find they have it.

Luckily, there is much research happening around dementia – how to prevent it, how to cure it and how to live with it. It’s this last part of the research we’re particularly interested in at the moment, given that many of the people we take care of are living with dementia.

Back in August, we wrote an article about our brand new dementia garden at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home, a pioneering new project in this area of Buckinghamshire, which was co-designed with the input of our residents. We’ve now sifted through those ideas, as well as the evidence and research around dementia friendly spaces, and development on the new Bartlett’s landscape will begin shortly, for completion next year. The dementia friendly elements of our garden will be subtle, but will have a massive impact on the way our dementia sufferers feel about our outdoor space. If you’re interested in which elements are specially developed, you’ll want to look for some of the following when you visit our new landscape;

The outdoor space will be an extension of the indoor space

For people struggling with dementia stark changes in scenery can be confusing and frightening. Our new garden will be complete with visual and physical access between the inside and outside, a transition between indoors and outdoors that is even under foot, an entrance to the home that is homelike and displays no confronting signage, and pathways that are consistent in colour. All of these elements should make the outdoor space easier to navigate and less confusing for those living with dementia.

Opportunities for walking

There’ll be a continuous looped path, with destination points but no sharp, sudden ends to pathways – as these may confuse or alarm dementia sufferers. The space will be long enough for meaningful exercise and therapeutic benefit, with lots of simple routes to take around the garden and many interesting journeys to have, offering a variety of different activities along the way. There’ll also be motion sensor lighting so that the garden is usable at nighttime.

A new chance for social interaction and engagement with the environment

The gardens will create a variety of new environments and give our residents places to socialise or rest within whatever their mood. There’ll be areas that catch the sun and parts of the garden that are set in the shade, raised flowerbeds to look at, sheds to explore and spaces for animals and children. The garden will be made up of large and small mixed spaces that allow for privacy, whilst also offering the ideal space for engagement with the surrounding community.

Sensory stimulation

The research behind sensory stimulation and dementia is vast. Those living with dementia are calmed and comforted by a range of sensory stimulants in the form of colours, smells and things to touch. Our new gardens will be bursting with flowers, colours, water and textures. There’ll be vegetable gardens and scented plants to stimulate memory. The gardens will be built to seasonal variation, so they’ll look, feel and smell different in the autumn than they do in the spring. The essential core elements will remain, but there’ll always be something new to look at and experience.

We already know that our new gardens are going to be an aspect of Bartlett’s we’ll be very proud of. There’s nothing like them in our local area within care home facilities, they’ll be beautiful, stimulating and easy to access. They’ll give our residents a sense of freedom and an opportunity for engagement with one another and with nature.  We hope they’ll become a favoured area of our care home and be a space where people want to relax and interact. We’d like them to host community and care home events, and witness many special occasions. We want them to provide joy, happiness and comfort to residents and visitors of Bartlett’s alike.

Our new garden will be complete in the spring. There’ll be more information and pictures on our garden transformation on our Twitter account, @PeverelCourt.

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