Hospice opens dementia-friendly garden

Categories: People & Places.

Ashgate Hospicecare in Derbyshire have unveiled a new garden room and dementia-friendly courtyard.

The garden room provides a homely sanctuary for patients and their families who want a non-clinical, modern space to spend time together. It is also the gateway to a peaceful outdoor courtyard with sensory plants, a tranquil water feature and comfortable seating. Both areas were made possible thanks to a donation from the Westfield Health Charitable Trust.

The spaces have been created to improve the hospice experience for all patients and their families, particularly for those with cognitive difficulties, as well as providing families with somewhere relaxing to take their loved ones that is easily accessible to the nurses.

John Beeston, a patient at Ashgate Hospicecare’s Inpatient Unit, said:

“This was my first time seeing the courtyard and I think it looks amazing. It reminds me a lot of being at home because we get a lot of sparrows in our garden, just like those painted on the mural. It is wonderful to have the bird feeders too because hopefully they will attract lots of birds into the courtyard.

“The garden room is a wonderful addition too! It is lovely because it can be used all year round and you can open up the bi-folding doors and feel like you are outside even if you are inside.”

Graham Moore, Chairman of the Westfield Health Charitable Trust, said:

“As a longstanding supporter of Ashgate Hospicecare we are delighted to have funded the new courtyard and garden room, which I had the privilege of officially opening. This is an amazing space where patients and their families can spend quality time together, which I am sure will have a positive impact on the wellbeing of patients.”

Local businesses also supported the new spaces, among them Gary Fletcher Surfacing, John Plant MBE, Tesco’s Bags of Help, Hospice garden volunteers, and the Hospice Dementia Champions.

Julie Foster, Ashgate Hospicecare Matron said:

“We are so grateful to the Westfield Health Charitable Trust and everyone else involved who made this project possible. We have known for a long time that the environment has a huge impact on patient wellbeing. This new space is a home from home, a space for patients to relax, to celebrate with loved ones, to simply enjoy when it matters most.

“The hospice was awarded “outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission in 2015 for our care. The garden room and courtyard are now outstanding spaces to match this care and have inspired the hospice to make improvements to other areas on the Inpatient Unit.”

For more information visit Ashgate Hospicecare