Spalding to have innovative sensory garden for dementia sufferers to enjoy

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An innovative sensory garden is being built in Spalding so people with dementia can explore it safely and independently.

Work on the brand new, purpose-built garden is already in under way at the Cedar Falls care village, which is part of Tanglewood Care Homes.

Tanglewood has partnered with Living Through Landscapes, Thrive, Groundworks, Tesco and Homebase to carefully form every element of the design by focusing on the specific needs of people living with dementia.

Tanglewood Care Homes founder and director Tracy Ann Shelbourn said: “The Cedar Falls Community Garden Project is one of our most ambitious outdoor projects to date and will be available for all Cedar Falls residents to enjoy as well as visitors from the surrounding communities.

“All too often people living in residential care settings do not have access to safe environments where they can spend time independently outdoors, particularly people living with dementia.

“We’re continuing to develop our outreach programmes which focus on residents living with dementia, and we wanted to design an outdoor model of care to reflect this and to inspire other care homes to also use their outdoor space more effectively.”

Key features of the sensory garden will be:

• Pergola walkways offering a 360-degree sensory experience for people at all heights and mobility preferences

• A flower planting and vegetable growing area that will provide sensory stimulations ranging from scent to touch to taste

• Flexi-pave resin-bound surfacing suitable for wheelchairs

• Gazebo space for private relaxation with family members, suitable for all weathers

• Bird-friendly area with feeding tables

• Multiple entrances to allow residents to come and go independently

As well as welcoming the wider Lincolnshire community it’s hoped that, when completed in June, the community garden will be used for further dementia care education programmes.

Tracy added: “The garden project is already included in the University of Kent’s study into outdoor living for those with dementia.

The project has been supported by the families of Tanglewood residents and staff, who have either donated towards or sponsored items.

More than 13,000 Lincolnshire families are affected by dementia.

Tracy said: “We look forward to welcoming families across Lincolnshire who have been touched by dementia in some way to come and enjoy this new space.”

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