Creating an appealing outdoor space for everyone in a care home involves considering the needs and interests of all residents, here are five ways you can make your outdoors attractive for all.

Provide Ample Seating

Understanding that some residents may not be steady on their feet is important as this shouldn’t affect their option of being able to enjoy the outdoors. Making sure there is plenty of seating will help put residents’ minds at ease as many may have a sense of anxiety about leaving the home. Alleviating this apprehension can often be done by providing a range of sturdy, comfortable and well-positioned benches, chairs and tables.

Consider Mobility Aids

Ensure that your outdoor area is accessible to all residents, regardless of mobility limitations. This could mean that, if you haven’t already, you might need to install ramps or hand rails and even have a supply of mobility aids, such as wheelchairs or walkers.

Add Sensory Elements

We’ve established that sensory elements at a care home can ignite some really positive emotions which have a knock-on effects to residents’ moods. Incorporating sensory elements to your gardens such as plants, flowers, water features and bird feeders can make the outdoor space more engaging and enjoyable for residents with dementia or other cognitive impairments.

Provide Shade and Sun Protection

It’s essential that you make sure your outdoor area has plenty of shade and sun protection, such as umbrellas or awnings. This is particularly important for residents with sensitive skin or those who are prone to heat exhaustion. Excessive heat can have a severe knock-on effect to the elderly and those who are already unwell, so this factor should be specifically considered as we get into the warmer months.

Involve Residents in Planning

When looking to change, adapt or add to your outdoor area you should get input from the home’s residents. Find out what they would like to see in the outdoor space and involve them in the planning and overall process as much as possible. This can help to ensure that the outdoor space meets the needs and preferences of everyone in the care home.