Sunrise of Banstead has created a new Sensory Garden to help aid sensory stimulation for residents living with dementia.
Led by Activities Coordinator Tamara Juckes, the garden has been developed as a calm, outside environment in the Memory Care Neighborhood where all the senses can be stimulated. Aside from being a beautiful space for residents to spend time in the sun, the garden is also there to help reduce the symptoms of distressed behaviours in residents living with dementia. For residents with advanced dementia It is not always possible to know what is causing distress, but it is possible to provide the right environment that can reduce stress levels.
The garden was developed with resident involvement and has been created with a view to engage all of the senses. There is an array of bright colours for residents to look at, including vibrant decorations they helped to make, a variety of flowers and a whole wall painting of the seaside. In addition to this, there is a water fountain and bird feeders so that residents can hear the soothing sounds of nature. For those interested in tasting the garden’s produce there’s a herb section with mint, thyme and oregano, as well as regular treats served in the outdoor setting. Completing the set of senses residents are able to roam the garden to take in the smells of nature, such as lavender, and there are a range of activities, like helping with the gardening, if they wish to work with their hands.
The garden has been a hit amongst residents and has also increased the confidence of team members supporting those with dementia. Resident Connie Kent is a big fan of the new garden, commenting, “having this new garden really cheers me up! The colours, the smell, and watching the wildlife feeding on their feeders is a real joy”. Her fellow resident Kathleen Cawley was similarly effusive, saying, “Our new garden is so peaceful, we always had such a beautiful garden at home, so this space outside is so important to me”.
Tamara Juckes, Activities Coordinator at Sunrise of Banstead, said:
“I’ve been really pleased to see the number of residents enjoying our new Sensory Garden, whether it’s been to come outside to have a drink, sit in the sun, or watch the birds.
“However, the garden is more than a simple relaxation space and we have actually seen a reduction in distressed behaviours and many other benefits, since it opened. At Sunrise of Banstead we are always looking at ways we can make our residents feel more comfortable and the environments we provide are a really important part of this.”