Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

People with dementia benefit from time in the countryside

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

With nearly 20,000 people estimated to be living with dementia in Hampshire now and the possibility that this number may double by 2030, Hampshire County Council has been helping people with dementia to access its country parks so they can reap the physical, emotional and social benefits of being outdoors and sharing activities with others.

As part of its Dementia Friendly Hampshire campaign, residents from two Hampshire County Council residential care homes took part in a pilot 'Home Outdoors' trip to Manor Farm and Country Park at Bursledon, a working farm of a bygone age set in a scenic landscape of farmland and ancient woodland on the banks of the River Hamble.

The trip for residents from Malmesbury Lawn in Havant and Bishops Waltham House was supported by Dementia Adventure, a social enterprise that specialises in outdoor programmes for people with dementia.

Cllr Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health said, "The pilot trip to Manor Farm enabled us to support residents with dementia at the same time as helping our staff to see and understand the benefits of nature based approaches to helping people with dementia to live well.

"The successful pilot included specialist training for staff at Manor Farm and the learning from this will enable us to plan future outdoor activities across our country parks for people living with dementia, their families and carers.

This initiative is part of the County Council's Dementia Friendly Hampshire programme designed to make Hampshire a more dementia-friendly county, where people with dementia can live a good life, feeling valued safe and supported. Other strands include the launch of dementia friendly high streets in Fareham, Lyndhurst, Romsey, Fleet and Alton, where local businesses are signing-up to training to help support people with dementia and displaying dementia friendly window stickers signifying that their business is working hard to create an inclusive and supportive environment."

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