The gardens are a key space and part of daily life at Stanfield Nursing Home. Our care home Worcester gardens provides a space to relax and enjoy but is also a source of activity for our residents. When I had the house extended, I worked closely with an architect to create an enclosed courtyard that would be a space space for our residents to spend time. Since then, this part of the garden has become a prominent feature of our home.
Our activities coordinator, Pauline, has made it a particular focus for activities for our residents. The garden provides endless opportunities for engaging with the residents and she has made it a focus of making life here at Stanfield just like home.
The garden plays a big part of maintaining that sense of normality. It's likely that if our residents were still living in their own homes, they would do things like, potting, weeding and planting themselves. So that's what Pauline likes to continue in our care home Worcester garden.
Pauline and her team help our residents to continue to go out and plant their own pots and pull out their own weeds. They get their gloves on and get stuck in doing things such as sweeping the paths and watering the plants. Doing such things creates a sense of wellbeing - since they are exactly what one would do in their own home.
When people come to live at Stanfield Nursing Home, we don't want them to feel like this is just somewhere they have come to stay. We want it to feel like their home and like it's theirs. So providing the means to take ownership of a space, even through a seemingly small act of potting and planting plants of their own choice, allows this to happen.
When they go out in the garden, Pauline's intention is that they should feel it is their garden. To that end, the residents can plant what they like. She'll ask them what that is and they do it. And if they want to change things around they'll do that too. Pauline is passionate that the garden isn't just somewhere they go and sit - although just sitting and enjoying the space is also absolutely fine if that's what someone wants to do. It's a lovely space to do so, after all.
Boosting mood and memory in our care home Worcester garden
Aside from the physical benefits that come with gardening, the garden also provides many benefits for our residents' mental well being. It's well documented that spending time outdoors, in nature and being active is good for us. The simple act of growing plants, herbs and flowers can reduce stress and anxiety and help with depression.
It's no different in a care home setting.
What's more, gardening is a great form of reminiscence therapy and therefore particularly helpful for people suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia. Seeing the plants as they grow stimulates their memory as they remember the the seeds they planted. It helps someone with dementia to not lose time as they get to see the plants in different stages. That way, rather than going into garden and thinking "oh, this is new", and being potentially confused or distressed by a sudden change, our residents get to track the process which is more reassuring. The plant isn't new because they've grown with it.
As Pauline says in the video about the garden at our nursing home in Worcester:
"It's not just the plants that are growing, it's their [our residents'] comfort."
And for our care home Worcester garden, what better endorsement is there than that?
If you are considering nursing home care for yourself or for a loved one, you are very welcome to come and have a look around our home and gardens. We are also available to discuss any queries you may have on 01905 420 459.
You may also like to read our previous blog on Stanfield House: Our Worcester Care Home History.