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Design for Nature in Dementia Care

Maintaining a connection to nature is increasingly recognised as an important component of caring for a person with dementia. The benefits of connecting the subjective experience of dementia sufferers with their physical environment include sensory stimulation and enhanced cognitive, psychological and physical well-being, as well as improved behaviour management. "Design for Nature in Dementia Care" adopts a holistic and person-centred approach to caring for dementia sufferers by considering their emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being. The book provides comprehensive examples of the wide range of ways a person can connect to nature through indoor and outdoor activities, elements and environments, such as caring for house plants and pets, gardening and cooking, practising handicrafts and domestic chores, and offers solutions and insights to a professional understanding of the design of buildings and landscapes. The book draws on interdisciplinary research evidence from environmental psychology, neurology, architecture, nursing and dementia care practice, and spells out practical ways in which care providers and design professionals can design for nature in dementia care.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part 1: Nature Indoors. 1. Living with Nature. 2. Nature-based Activities. 3. Ethical Issues Concerning Nature Indoors. Part 2: Nature Outdoors. 4. The Natural World. 5. Activities Outdoors. 6. Ethical Issues Concerning Nature Outdoors. 7. Summary. Glossary. Appendices. References. Further Resources. Subject index. Author index.

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Practical ways to incorporate nature into indoor and outdoor environments and offer a connection to nature for people living with dementia

About the Author

Garuth Chalfont, PhD ASLA, is a Researcher at the School of Architecture, University of Sheffield. He also runs Chalfont Design, a research and consultancy service in dementia design and therapeutic nature design. He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the British Society of Gerontology, the International Psychogeriatric Association, and THRIVE UK (Social and Therapeutic Horticulture).


Design for Nature in Dementia Care by Garuth Chalfront is the best book I have seen on how contact with the natural world can help people affected by dementia. It offers ideas for activity planning, landscaping, and environmental design in dementia care. Well-designed in format, it is easy to read and includes many helpful illustrations. Family carefivers will find lots of ideas for things that can be done at home. Institutional planners will benefit from design and landscaping tips for nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The book draws on interdisciplinary research evidence from environmental psychology, neurology, architecture, nursing and dementia care practice. -- Les Morgan, President, Growth House, Inc. This book provides comprehensive examples of ways to connect to nature through indoor and outdoor activities. It is well designed, clearly articulates the theory behind the practice and provides a very wide range of practical suggestions. The quality of the writing emerges in part, from the fact that this is an inter-disciplinary piece of research environmental psychology, neurology, architecture, nursing and dementia care practice. -- Leveson Centre Newsletter- Design for nature in dementia care, by Garuth Chalfont, suggests practical ways to incorporate nature into indoor and outdoor environments and also into the design of buildings and landscapes. These suggestions are drawn from interdisciplinary research in environmental psychology, neurology, architecture, nursing and dementia care practice. -- The Journal of Dementia Care This book is a welcome surprise addition to the literature on person-centered care in dementia practice, and is a excellent example of the positive involvement that professions other than health and social care can have. It draws not only on activities but also environmental design, including excellent sections on indoor and outdoor activities, as well as ethical issues. The author of this book has not only shown the importance of "design for nature" in dementia care, but also taps into our understanding and values in emphasising the need for occupational diversity and inclusion when realising true person-centred care. -- Professional Social Work This would be useful for users, designers and carers concerned with the everyday activities in which people with dementia might be involved. Chalfont's depth of knowledge and passion for the subject are eveident throughout. -- Nursing Standard This is a "must have text" for any setting that provides care for a person with dementia. It would be a useful addition to an OT library in such settings. -- Older People and Occupational Therapy I found this a fascinating book. The practical ideas for bringing nature into the daily lives of people with dementia and re-establishing this all-too-often broken connection were simple and easy to implement. I would recommend this book not only to those interested in design for people with dementia but also to those who live and work with people with dementia. It is a thought-provoking read and will help people to think about the importance of the natural world not only to people with dementia but to themselves as well. -- Signpost Dementia continues to be a much stigmatised condition within our society and this book challenges traditional views about what can be achieved to meet the needs of each individual in a carefully considered and personalised way. I wholeheartedly recommend this text to tutors and students who are exploring the impact of dementia in their interactions with service users and their network. -- The Higher Education Academy Social Policy and Social Work This is a well-written, well-researched book that could help revolutionise dementia care by focusing upon practical steps practitioners can take to create a therapeutic environment by incorparating nature into care settings... Chalfont writes with such passion and conviction for his subject that this invariably "rubs off" onto readers leaving them feeling inspired and wanting to find out more. Throughout the book we are encouraged to design enabling environments and activities using a person-centred approach that focus upon the perspective of the person with dementia. The book also makes much needed contribution to an area of demantia care, which is often overlooked even though nature is so important to all of us. All practitioners in the fiels of dementia care, not only social workers, should be encouraged to read this important text as I feel it holds a way of working from which all of us could gain something. -- Practice: Social Work in Action

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