New Dementia Sensory Garden for Bideford Care Home

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Kenwith Castle care home in Care South, near Bideford, has unveiled a new sensory garden designed specifically to meet the needs of people with dementia.

Making the most of the home’s setting in 30 acres of beautiful parkland, Kenwith Castle’s new sensory garden was designed by local garden designer, Angie Ward and built by Torrington-based LJ Developments (Southwest).

Wide, flat paths meander through the garden, past paved seating areas and garden benches, with fragrant borders and shrubs and trees providing color as well as a lovely aroma. There is a mix of sensory zones with stimulating colors and quiet spaces for moments of calm and reflection. Raised borders allow easy access for wheelchair users, allowing them to easily participate in gardening activities.

The new sensory garden was unveiled to residents on September 27 – Credit: Care South

There is also a gazebo and water features to calm and soothe the senses as well as a cabana and horticultural therapy area. A bug hotel will house many types of minibeasts and insects such as ladybugs, bees, spiders, and woodlice.

Amanda Williams, Home Manager at Kenwith Castle Care Home, said: “The Dementia Sensory Garden is one of the best things we have ever introduced to Kenwith Castle. The residents we care for enthusiastically followed its progress from design to construction, and were thrilled to finally have the chance to get out and explore all it has to offer.

“For people with dementia, creating safe and calming spaces is so important. The garden is easy to navigate, safe and secure, and has clear pathways to reduce the risk of confusion and disorientation.

The garden is specially designed to stimulate the minds of people with dementia - Credit: Care South
The garden is specially designed to stimulate the minds of people with dementia – Credit: Care South

“We all know the benefits of being outside in nature and being able to move around, and it’s just as important for people with dementia as it helps reduce tension and anxiety. Color, touch and scent help calm and ground residents as well as awaken distant memories of happy times. This purpose-built garden will be an invaluable addition to our home, allowing residents to roam freely and safely.

A family member of a Kenwith Castle resident added: “What a difference it has already made to my mother’s quality of life, she has always been a keen gardener, and it will enhance the excellent level of care that she receives here.”

The garden was unveiled to staff, residents and their families at a grand opening on September 27, where there was also a pork roast, barbecue and live entertainment.

Kenwith Castle is set in the heart of scenic North Devon coastal countryside, near Bideford, in an attractive 17th century Grade II listed building. The home is owned and operated by Care South, a non-profit charity and leading provider of residential and home care in the south of England.

Residents were treated to a party to celebrate the unveiling of the garden - Credit: Care South
Residents were treated to a party to celebrate the unveiling of the garden – Credit: Care South
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