Families and friends have been making the most of September’s fine weather by joining loved ones at a Somerset dementia care home at a gardening club that has been launched at their home.
The ‘Friends’ of Camelot House and Lodge in Wellington have supported the creation of raised beds and other dementia-friendly aspects of the home’s garden and worked alongside residents to help get planting established.
Activities co-ordinator Richard Dempslake said:
“Gardening is a wonderful therapeutic activity for people with dementia.
“Those who have always enjoyed it as a hobby just love getting stuck in again, and many of those who weren’t keen gardeners before still relish the feeling of soil on their hands and being out in nature.
“The area we’ve planted as a sensory zone is smelling delightful, and also offers an interesting variety of textures for residents to feel including feathery foliage and grasses.
“There is an element of physical activity involved in gardening which helps maintain balance, strength and flexibility – all very important for people living with dementia.
“And gardening also offers the benefit of giving residents a real sense of purpose, which is so important for their overall quality of life.
“We’ve timetabled specific sessions so that friends and families know when to come to make the most of the sociable side of gardening in a group when everybody can have a good old chat.
“It’s a great opportunity for residents to reminisce, and for family members to connect with other relatives and maybe extend their own support network, which is something we always try to help with.
“Family and friends also know they are welcome to visit at other times and enjoy some special quiet time in our peaceful garden with just their loved ones.”