Dementia garden opened for home's residents

Kidderminster Shuttle: NEW GARDEN: Liz Baker, left, with Brookdale Nursing Home' activities co-ordinator Lucy Isaacs. NEW GARDEN: Liz Baker, left, with Brookdale Nursing Home' activities co-ordinator Lucy Isaacs.

RESIDENTS at a Kidderminster care home are enjoying the summer in a new specially-designed dementia garden after the completion of a four-month project.

The gardens at Brookdale Nursing Home in Blakebrook have been overhauled as part of a £10,000 scheme which has given residents a safe and colourful outdoor space to walk in and stimulate their senses.

The garden contains a variety of specially-selected flowers and plants, a water feature, solar lighting, a new walkway and outdoor furniture, all designed to help residents with dementia to cope with the condition.

A proportion of the funding for the new garden at the Kidderminster care home, which has recently been awarded the prestigious Worcestershire Dementia Standard, came from Worcestershire County Council in recognition of Brookdale’s achievement in the national Dementia Leadership Award programme.

Liz Baker, manager of the home, said: “Dementia patients do not want to spend their lives indoors any more than anyone else would so our new garden has provided them with such a wonderful space.

“Getting outdoors, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells, does wonders for people living with conditions such as dementia. They can be powerful triggers for memories and that makes them essential tools for people who may, otherwise, have difficulty.

“Although the garden has only just been finished our residents are already enjoying using it.

“We have worked hard to introduce the right planting, comfortable seating and even the lighting so everyone can enjoy the space as much as possible. It is a big hit with our residents, who have also got involved in every last detail with our activities co-ordinator, Lucy Isaacs.

“With summer here it’s perfect timing for residents to be outside and really enjoy the garden. It has added a whole new dimension for what we can offer residents.”

The garden will be officially opened this month by Jan Thompson, of Worcestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group at a garden fete organised by the care home.

Brookdale Nursing Home is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for 40 residents and is part of the Redwood Healthcare Group.

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