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Somerleigh Court Retirement Village And Nursing Home In Dorset Builds Sensory Garden

SomerleighSet in the heart of the town of Dorchester, Somerleigh Court is a retirement village of 68-one- and two-bedroom apartments with an on-site nursing home and specialist dementia unit.

Adding to garden spaces that residents enjoy in all seasons, the Somerleigh Court team have created their own sensory garden. Focusing on colour, light, sound and smell, the garden is designed to stimulate the senses and improve quality of life particularly for those suffering with dementia.

With colour, texture, aroma and soothing sounds as key, the carefully researched features include a cascading fountain, wheel chair accessible planters, a potting shed, brightly coloured walls and comfortable areas to relax peacefully. All paving and sheltered areas have been designed with wheelchairs and comfort in mind.

As Head of Care, Sharon Hill explains, ‘This garden is secure and safe for those with dementia. It’s a stimulating space which can enhance wellbeing, cohesive relationships and reduce any stigma about old age and frail health, it’s a very supportive and unique community setting.’

Aware that outside activity is important for all, Somerleigh Court uses its large terrace in Summer for music and fetes, and in Winter for Christmas choirs.  Sharon adds, ‘We like to encourage all residents to take part in the gardening and in events outside.  Community villages like ours are all about inclusion and village life, so we want residents both in the nursing home and the retirement village apartments to join together.’

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