If you look the right way, you can see the whole world is a garden.

May 19, 2020 12:59 am

Historically at Yallambee in Millmerran there have always been garden areas for residents to enjoy access to nature and beauty. Either to sit and enjoy or to be actively engaged in caring for the garden whilst interacting with other residents and families.

The positive effects of having access to a well designed outdoor area within a residential aged care facility is well researched . It has been proven that access to nature and outdoors has healing ability (Kaplan1995). Research indicates that physical and visual access to nature can have positive impacts for individuals with and without Dementia. It can help people recover from illness quicker, reduce stress and lower blood pressure and help maintain circadian rhythms. Access to regular sunlight aids in the absorption of Vitamin D as an extra benefit (Alzheimers Association).

“Beauty surrounds us but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it”(Rumi)

With recent refurbishments at Yallambee both staff and residents suggested that a garden committee be established and a project commenced to plan for new garden areas to be created. The Lutheran Church became aware of our project and donated $2000 to assist us as well as a family of a deceased resident was incentive to commence planning of the area once known as the Harmony Garden – a scented garden with a water feature and meandering pathway for residents with access from the Memory Support Unit as well. The lifestyle team became aware of grants being offered to the Community by the Toowoomba City Council and an application has been lodged to further assist with the garden project.

The importance of the establishment of gardens for residents in aged care facilities work best when sustainability, orientation, accessibility, socialisation and solitude, meaningful activity, reminiscence and sensory stimulation, and safety balanced with independence are all key elements of a successful garden plan. A local gardener and nursery owner, Penny MacKinlay will assist with the garden design in line with Dementia garden guidelines from Alzheimers Association publications.

Never underestimate the healing power of a quiet moment in the garden. We can’t wait to show you the finished product!