Sensory Garden Success with Pensioners
Thanks to the adventurous work of SensoryPlus, one of the UK's leading providers of sensory environments, residents and staff at the Princess Louise of Kensington Care Home, can now relax in a stunning sensory garden which was officially opened by representatives from the world famous Chelsea Pensioners.
Designed and project managed by Peter Jones of SensoryPlus, the garden has transformed what was an area of rough terrain comprising of grass and a few plants into a stunning outdoor sensory environment that can be enjoyed by everyone. Peter worked closely with the residents and staff to ensure the finished garden met their exact requirements; it was vital to ensure a sense of normality and that the area was not viewed as clinical. The garden needed to be welcoming and comfortable for all and have the look and feel of a domestic garden not a ‘care home’ garden whilst also addressing the specific needs of the residents such as wheelchair access.
The garden has a wide range of features ranging from raised planters with scented plants and integrated seating as well as a telephone box, post box and wheelchair friendly pathways making it a truly sensory and interactive environment. As David Payne, SensoryPlus Product Manager, points out quality was key to every step. “Many aspects of this installation were bespoke designs, tailored to the ideas and objectives Peter and the team at Princess Louise came up with during the consultation process. The success with which Peter and SensoryPlus delivered on all those aspirations to such a high standard is a source of tremendous pride to us all. SensoryPlus is founded on listening to customers and truly understanding their goals. Every contributor to the fantastic end result in Kensington is committed to that ideal. I just hope other care homes utilise Peter’s remarkable creativity and can-do attitude to similar effect. Congratulations to the home too, for investing in the quality of environment they provide.”
Another key element of the Kensington project was the design and installation of a sensory room also project managed by Peter. The room features a qualia unit that provides a compact selection of mobile sensory products that promote interaction and stimulation whilst encouraging rest and relaxation by creating anenvironment that is familiar and inviting. Complimenting the unit is a magic carpet that is preloaded with over 50 interactive applications as standard, and has tremendous longevity and potential for a wide range of needs. All the applications which include fish pond, star scatter, piano and football can be used as a template for customisation; facilitating, through an intuitive process, the introduction of new images, sounds and videos.
Funding for the sensory garden and sensory room came from a £180,000 Secretary of State for Health’s initiative for Improving the Environment for People with Dementia. The application for funding was submitted by Patrick Geraghty, Senior Manager at the Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust who commented: “All those months ago when I sat at my computer putting together the application for funding I could never have imagined what a tremendous difference it would make to the outdoor area here in Kensington. It is very rare that you have the chance to be involved in a project that will benefit so many people and be a source of enjoyment for many years to come.”
Amor Gatinao, Central London Community Healthcare's nursing home manager at Princess Louise Kensington said: "The sensory room and garden have been fantastic projects to be involved in as the residents and staff were able to work with Peter at the consultation stage of design and the garden is now here for everyone to enjoy thanks to Peter and the team at SensoryPlus. "Residents, family members, visitors and staff have all been very impressed with the beautiful silver orb water feature, the traditional red phone box, fragrant plants in raised beds, integrated seating and spongy surface paths which ensure everyone can get around safely. The 'magic carpet' in the sensory room on the dementia care unit has also been a big hit with everyone and provides many hours of enjoyment. We aim to deliver a very high standard of care here at Princess Louise and treat all patients with the utmost respect, dignity and compassion and the sensory garden and room will only help us further achieve this".
Click here for more information on the range of outdoor sensory solutions and other sensory equipment available from SensoryPlus or call 01302 645 685 to speak to one of our team.
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For more information on the Princess Louise Nursing Home, please follow this link: www.clch.nhs.uk/plknursinghome