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'My nature' - an effective tool for residential care

Author(s)

BREWIN Wendy, ORR Noreen, GARSIDE Ruth

Publisher(s):

Hawker

Experiencing nature is increasingly recognised as having a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of older people living in care homes. This practice example of "My Nature" activities toolkit designed to solve the problem of access to green spaces, which can be difficult for older people with dementia in care homes. Sensory Trust and the University of Exeter collaborated on developing 'My Nature', an evidence based training toolkit to help care staff identify ways in which nature can not only play a role in a resident's care plan but also support them in their work. The toolkit consists of: evidence booklets, nature based activities and a wall chart. The toolkit was piloted and then evaluated to see how far it could achieve the health and wellbeing gains that access to nature can provide. Two care homes in Cornwall participated in the pilot. Activities demonstrated in the pilots include: nature palettes, nature mapping, painting by nature and a tea tasting party. Key findings from the evaluation: the activities succeeded in getting residents out into the gardens and also stimulated interaction, enjoyment and pleasure. For staff, the activities proved to be adaptable to different contexts, could be planned in advanced and person-centred. Challenges identified include: the activities did not appear to appeal to male residents and care home culture. (Edited publisher abstract)


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