AbstractThere is growing prevalence of dementia in the UK, with up to 1 million people predicted to be living with dementia by 2025 (Prince et al. 2014). Green dementia care is a person-centred approach involving activities which enable connection to nature and promote health and wellbeing. Several benefits associated with outdoor and nature-based activities have been shown, however the UK-based and community-based research evidence is limited. Therefore, the aim of this research was to identify and evaluate the benefits associated with outdoor and nature-based activities for people living with dementia and cognitive impairment in the community in the UK, to inform green dementia care practice.
This research utilised a mixed methods approach to provide a holistic perspective on the benefits of outdoor and nature-based activities on wellbeing. Study 1 involved qualitative interviews to explore the perceptions of individuals delivering outdoor and nature-based activities for people living with dementia in the UK (n=21). The findings led to the development of a model to guide the delivery of effective outdoor and nature-based activities. This was used to inform a 6-week horticultural activity intervention delivered at a community garden, and a 12-week outdoor and nature-based activity intervention delivered at an ExtraCare village. The interventions were evaluated using quantitative measures, and a range of qualitative measures including direct participant observations, reflections, and participant interviews.
The results indicated the interventions provided benefits for people living with dementia in the community and in an extra care setting including positive behaviour, reminiscence and increased social interaction was shown specifically for people living with dementia. A decrease in depressive symptoms and increase in overall quality of life was reported by the participants living at the ExtraCare village. The findings highlight that such activities can be effective by providing multi-sensory stimulation, and opportunities for meaningful activity and being outdoors. Recommendations for the development and implementation of effective outdoor and nature-based activities are presented to enhance green dementia care in practice.
|Date of Award||Aug 2021|
|Supervisor||Derek Renshaw (Supervisor), Ulrich Schmutz (Supervisor), James Shippen (Supervisor) & Louise Moody (Supervisor)|