Help us create a dementia friendly garden at East Surrey Hospital
We are still welcoming support from the local community for the newly opened Camomile Courtyard, the new sensory garden for patients living with dementia (as well as other patients, visitors and staff) so that they have a calm engaging environment away from the hospital wards.
Of the 80,337 adults admitted to East Surrey Hospital last year, a third were aged over 75 and 13 per cent had a confirmed dementia diagnosis.
These patients have been admitted because they are acutely unwell and many have come through the emergency department. For patients living with dementia, being in hospital can be an overwhelming experience and some patients can become restless and frustrated.
This purpose built garden area will give them a place to exercise and an opportunity to relieve tension and anxiety. It will also offer additional interest with colours, smells and the sounds of wildlife which can stimulate memories for people living with dementia.
The area that we have transformed, previously had overgrown trees and was unsuitable for many patients due to some uneven surfaces and benches which are too low for older people to sit on. The courtyard was largely grey concrete with no vibrant colours. With your support, we have now transformed this space into a thriving garden for patients and their families to enjoy.
An important part of the high quality care provided at East Surrey Hospital is rehabilitation, which will enable patients to be ready to leave hospital. To help meet these needs, the garden will also provide a number of different therapeutic activities.
Sensory planting will create a calming environment and encourage wildlife while also stimulating patients’ recall. Seating will allow opportunities for admiring the garden, contemplation and resting before continuing around the garden. Camomile Courtyard will also be a place for communal activities such as table tennis designed by the BAT (Bounce Alzheimer’s Therapy) Foundation.
Other key elements of the garden will create a destination place for hospital therapy staff to bring patients to. The design includes items such as a water feature, a traditional post box and these will be points of interest and important conversation starters as part of recall rehabilitation.
The courtayrd officially opened in March 2019, but we are still welcoming donations towards the overall project cost, and of course towards our next projects.
For more information about the garden or how you can help please contact [email protected] or call 01737 768511 ext. 1295.