Our primary project at the present time is funding to provide furnishings such as benches for the new Therapeutic Wander Garden at the Baie Verte Community Health Centre. This garden is intended to provide a safe outdoor environment and reduce the negative behavioural aspects associated with wandering, specifically for residents living with varying forms and degrees of dementia.
The wander garden will provide a fully fenced area, connected from the residents' lounge to an open courtyard approximately 45' x 75' with direct access to and from the lounge. The eight foot fence will be camouflaged by shrubs and trees to divert the residents' eyes from focusing on what lies outside the wander garden and decrease the residents' feelings of confinement.
The garden surface shall be level to minimize fall risk, with walkways that promote strolling. Walkways will also have a safe and easy surface for residents in wheelchairs or those using walkers. Appropriate non-toxic plants will provide a therapeutic, tactile environment for all to enjoy. Benches and appropriate seating will be interspersed throughout.
The wander garden will allow residents to wander freely and safely from the facility to the open space. A degree of autonomy is afforded by having the option to leave the unit which shall decrease aggression and frustration in many instances. The wander garden has the potential to allow for increased admissions of hard to place residents with behaviours, increase safety and security of both residents and staff, while promoting employee wellness through the reduction of staff injury.
Such environments have been shown to significantly decrease the use of pharmacological agents, decreasing falls and fractures and provide enhanced services for the steadily aging population suffering from dementias. As a result of the introduction of a Therapeutic Wander Garden, the overall milieu of the Baie Verte Peninsula long term care unit will be one of enriched quality of life.
This has been a multi-year project with an investment of over $200,000.
Donations may be made at any time and restricted for this project, or others projects which may arise for the benefit of patients, residents and clients served through the Baie Verte Community Health Centre.