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A Study of a Secure Garden in the Care of People with Alzheimer's Disease

  • M.J. Lovering (a1), C.A. Cott (a2), D.L. Wells (a2), J. Schleifer Taylor (a2) and L.M. Wells (a2)...

Abstract

Specially designed outdoor spaces (SDOS) have been developed to improve the quality of life of people with dementia. However, few follow-up studies have been done to examine their use once implemented. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of how SDOS are used and the objectives of their design fulfilled. A qualitative descriptive study was conducted of a SDOS 3 years after it was built to answer the following questions: How has the garden changed from the original design? What are the current patterns of use of the garden? What factors facilitate use of the garden? What are the barriers to use of the garden? Four main sources of data were used: landscape architectural drawings, non-participant observation, focus groups, and in-depth interviews. The results lend support to the theoretical principles of garden design in the literature. The garden was considered an important part of the service program. However, factors such as garden maintenance, organizational support, staff training, and accessibility may limit its impact.

Des espaces extérieurs spécialement aménagés ont été conçus en vue d'améliorer la qualité de vie des personnes souffrant de démence, mais il existe peu d'études complémentaires portant sur leur utilisation, une fois qu'ils ont été installés. Le but de cette étude était d'acquérir une meilleure compréhension de la façon dont ces espaces sont utilisés et de la façon dont les objectifs de leur conception sont atteints. On a mené une étude descriptive qualitative d'un espace extérieur spécialement aménagé 3 ans après sa construction, afin de répondre aux questions suivantes: En quoi le jardin a-t-il changé depuis sa conception initiale? Quels sont les schémas actuels d'utilisation du jardin? Quels sont les facteurs qui facilitent l'utilisation du jardin? Quels sont les obstacles à l'utilisation du jardin? On a fait appel à quatre sources principales de données: les dessins d'aménagement paysager; l'observation par des non-participants; des groupes de discussion; et des entrevues approfondies. Les résultats viennent étayer les principes théoriques de la conception de jardins qui ont été publiés. Le jardin était vu comme une partie importante du programme de services, mais des facteurs tels que son entretien, l'appui au sein de l'organisation, la formation du personnel et l'accessibilité pourraient limiter son impact.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Requests for offprints should be sent to: / Les demandes de tirés-a-part doivent être adressées à : M.J. Lovering, Principal Landscape Architect, Vertechs Design Inc., Landscape Architects, Suite 205, 1246 Yonge St, Toronto, Ontario, M4T 1W5. (mjlovering@vertechsdesign.com)

Footnotes

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*This research was financially supported by a grant from the Drummond Foundation. The study was conducted under the auspices of the Institute for Human Development, Life Course and Aging at the University of Toronto. The authors wish to thank the staff and clients who so willingly participated in the study.

Footnotes

References

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