This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

The great outdoors can provide dementia sufferers with a space for activity or a peaceful sanctuary. Gavin O’Hare- Connolly, Operations Director at Amore Care explains how the care provider has specially crafted its gardens.

Gardens have always been associated with healing and rejuvenation. As oases of calm and tranquillity, they are ideal places to help those with dementia lead more fulfilling lives.

Specifically, they can help combat depression by giving people a sense of control over their lives, reinvigorate memory, and provide them with a space to exercise and relax in the open air.

Amore Care, part of the Priory Group of companies, provides specialist care for older people with a range of conditions, but most notably dementia, across the UK.

We passionately believe that the environment is more than just a place to live – it plays a pivotal role in improving quality of life.

This passion is shared by the company’s directors, as well as external experts. Amore Care’s training programme, ‘Creative Minds’, which aims to promote best practice in dementia care, was awarded accreditation from the University of Brighton in 2014.

The ultimate aim is to ensure that surroundings enhance the daily lives and mental wellbeing of adults diagnosed with dementia, leading to more personalised care delivery. At Amore Care, we have sought to enhance the aesthetic qualities of our facilities in everything we do.

Residents derive real calm and serenity from having access to an open and safe environment. The power of the great outdoors cannot be underestimated. Contact with green space can have a dramatic impact on mood and health, reducing blood pressure and muscle tension. The simple sound of birdsong or the rustling of wind through trees is said to reduce stress.

- 34 -

Increasing numbers of people diagnosed with conditions like Alzheimer’s will ensure that dementia remains one of the key concerns of the care home industry for decades to come. Government initiatives, including the Prime Minister’s ‘Dementia Challenge’, are based on estimates that say there are 800,000 people in the UK with dementia. An ageing demographic will see this number double over the next 30 years.

In facing up to these unprecedented challenges, Amore Care believes in a distinctive shift in the way we talk, think and act on dementia, to help transform the lives of our service users, and create a model that others will emulate.

Maintaining a dementia-friendly garden is one very important way in which providers can extend their dementia care vision and help adults with memory loss live more active and stimulating lives.

In short, gardens can help combat the effects of declining cognitive ability, while promoting self-worth, a social identity, and exercise – digging, sowing, planting, sweeping, mowing and walking. Gardening also helps maintain fine motor skills that may decline otherwise.

One Amore care home that has been focusing on this vital element of care is Bannview House in Northern Ireland, which spent every day last summer engaging residents in gardening activities. It culminated in the home being highly commended in the UK’s coveted ‘Best Kept Residential Facility 2014’ awards.

The garden was adapted to meet the needs of residents and the initiative involved local tradesmen, relatives and community volunteers

– encompassing a true sense of community. Our vision is to see all our care homes offer ‘dementia gardens’ for those diagnosed with dementia to visit and use at their leisure, as a way of reaching out to dementia sufferers who might otherwise become isolated.

Some local authorities, such as York, Newcastle and Motherwell, have made it their mission to lead the way in supporting adults with dementia. They are all attempting to become the UK’s first dementia-friendly cities. But at Amore Care, we realised care homes did not have to wait for national or local initiatives to lead the way, achieving several local and

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50