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Wednesday, 07 June 2017

New ‘sensory’ garden opens for dementia patients in North Wales

Written by The Editorial Team

A new ‘sensory’ garden to benefit dementia patients at Deeside hospital is now open.

The garden underwent a dramatic transformation in three days in a ‘Groundforce’ style makeover project.
The project was driven by Matron Cheryl Froom and Deborah Fogg, dementia support worker at Deeside hospital.
Debbie said: “The garden area outside the ward where the dementia patients stay was largely unused and it was unsuitable for patients with dementia.
“It seemed such a shame that the space wasn’t being used properly, so we decided to make it our mission to do something about it. I have been networking since I have started here at Deeside; I approached local businesses in the area and asked for their support towards the funding of this amazing project of the sensory garden.
“I approached Redrow construction and they were more than happy to help and fund the sensory garden.
“Some of their sponsored undergraduates have come here and they are all under 25. They had a challenge to get the garden transformed in three days and they had to source all the materials themselves.
“The work the young people have done is amazing, they even designed and built their own bird boxes for the garden and they planned it all themselves. It’s going to be such a lovely place for our patients to use, most of whom are rehabilitating and it’s now a safe and really pleasant environment for them to be in.”
The garden has been fenced off giving patients privacy and the ability to explore the garden with more independence.
There are a number of items in the garden which are designed to encourage memory stimulation such as an old post box and a ‘beach’ area with sand to encourage memories of the seaside.
Clare Horton, new entrant programmes manager for Redrow said: “We’re a local Welsh business so we wanted to help and when Debbie got in touch we knew we definitely wanted to say yes.
“All the students are university industrial placement students so it’s great for them as they get to plan on a small scale what they will eventually do on a large scale.
“They have really planned it carefully, the garden is designed to stimulate the senses and encourage reminiscence.
“They have a potting shed that they can do practical activities in. There’s also a herb garden to stimulate their sense of smell and benches for them to sit and rest.
“We hope that it will encourage patients who have difficulty talking to communicate.”
Student Jean-Pierre Ebanga from University of Leeds said: “I’m an undergraduate trainee and this project is great for me to be involved in.
“It’s a great opportunity to develop my skills and most importantly it’s so good to give back to the community and do a project like this. I have really enjoyed it and it feels very worthwhile doing this and knowing it will benefit so many dementia patients here.”
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