Outside matters just as much as the inside!

The benefits of well designed outside space for improving quality of life, physical and mental well-being, and reducing the effectives of cognitive decline are well-known.

The Housing LIN has recently updated its (beautifully designed!) Factsheet (No. 35) which focuses on creating safe, attractive and engaging environments that are accessible for older and disabled individuals. Although aimed primarily at the care sector, it covers fundamental principles useful for designing outside space for independent living schemes.

One of the Dementia-Friendly Design Principles is Sensory Simulation which involves creating an environment which reduces the impact of dementia and promotes relaxation as well as colour, textual contrast, and recognisable scents for those who are visibly challenged. Features also include raised beds accessible to wheelchair users and those who find it hard to bend, and appropriate lighting for security and night enjoyment of the outside space.

For more information about sensory gardens see also The Sensory Trust guidance on Gardens and Green Space, and the RHS guidance on How to Create a Sensory Garden.

Go back