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New dementia sensory garden for Bideford care home

Care South’s Kenwith Castle care home near Bideford has unveiled a new sensory garden designed specifically to cater for the needs of people living with dementia.

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

Wide, flat walkways wind through the garden, past paved seating areas and garden benches, with scented and shrub borders and trees providing colour as well as a beautiful aroma.

There is a mix of sensory areas with mood boosting colours and quiet spaces for moments of calm and reflection. Raised borders allow easy accessibility for wheelchair users, ensuring they can get involved in gardening activities with ease. There’s also a gazebo and water features to calm and soothe the senses as well as a potting shed and horticultural therapy area. A bug hotel will be a welcome home for lots of different types of minibeast and insects such as ladybirds, 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 at Kenwith Castle. Residents in our care have been excitedly tracking its progress, from design to build, and were thrilled to finally have the chance to get out there and explore all it has to offer.

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

“We all know the benefits of being outside in nature and being able to move around and this is equally important for people living with dementia, helping to reduce tension and anxiety. Colour, touch and scent all help to calm and ground residents as well as helping to awaken distant memories of happy times. This purpose-built garden will be an invaluable addition to our home, allowing residents to stroll freely and safely.”

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

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

Kenwith Castle is situated in the heart of the picturesque 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 not-for-profit charity and leading provider of residential and home care in the south of England.

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