Aged Care and Dementia Specific Sensory Gardens – Living libraries
“Matthew O’Grady Landscape Design headed by Matthew O’Grady is passionate about creating, living libraries, improving the quality of life for those living in aged care facilities, particularly those living with dementia. The garden is designed purely to promote a healthier mind, body and spirit, empowering residents ,their families, visitors. staff and stakeholders. The results are amazing.”
Designing Dementia Specific Sensory Gardens – Living libraries
Matthew O’Grady Landscape Designs professional team of landscape designers has expanded into Aged Care and Dementia Specific Sensory Gardens both in South Australia and Victoria. Matthew and his team of landscapers, along with dementia consultants, create dementia friendly outdoor environments to promote the health and well being of people with dementia. These environments promote and support the connections between families and friends of people suffering from dementia.
Each of these sensory gardens are designed to help reduce agitation and aggression, promote discovery, curiosity and independence as well as assist in tapping into long term memories.
While most gardens offer visual appeal, the dementia garden is a sensory garden designed to stimulate all five senses to convey emotional support, affection and respect and to help people with dementia be interactive. The gardens include interactive features that will bring people together such as men’s shed, raised garden beds, vegetable and flower gardens, safe water elements, bird feeders and bird baths. Also clothes lines, post boxes and bus stops can be featured. The gardens can be planted with seasonal plantings that are familiar to the age and culture of the residents and colour is used to heighten senses. Produce from the garden can be used for flower arrangements and cooking.
Safety is of course paramount. Gardens feature wide, level, well defined circular paths, obvious entry and exit points, discreet but sturdy handrails or seating for rest, balance and easy movement through the garden. Planting of shade providing trees is incorporated in overall design.
The options are endless and Matthew O’Grady Landscape Designs works with staff and residents when designing their sensory garden.
Sensory Gardens; Benefits for everyone
The dementia specific sensory garden encourages residents to be outdoors, to be more physically active and benefits their emotional and physical health. These beautiful therapeutic gardens also benefit the aged care facility staff who enjoy the physical and emotional de-stress these gardens provide, while family and friends get to enjoy a relaxing and positive environment when they visit residents.