This literature review explores the existing evidence of the benefits and barriers facing people living with dementia in accessing the natural environment and their local greenspace.
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The review commissioned by Natural England will be used as the basis to develop a partnership project to address the barriers, enable more people living with dementia to enjoy the benefits of the natural environment and therefore advance policy and practice in Natural England’s Outdoors for All programme.
Some of the key findings include:
- Evidence suggests that social interaction and access to the outdoors and nature is important for people living with dementia and that these activities have an important role in their quality of life.
- On-going studies within care home settings suggest a variety of interventions such as developing dementia friendly garden spaces and facilitating organised park and woodland walks have positive benefits for people living with dementia.
- There are potentially huge health and social care cost savings as well as wider societal and economic savings to be made by investing in alternatives to medication that enable people to live well early on in the disease process.
- Stakeholder engagement suggests that there is a strong willingness to develop and support partnership solutions to the barriers facing people living with dementia in engaging with nature.