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5 Garden Activities for Care Home Residents


What better time to get out in the garden than when the sun is shining! As the weather gradually brightens up, care homes across the country will be busy bees
planning their Activity Schedules for residents.

Not only is sunshine a great source of vitamin D for older adults, but it’s also known for its mood-boosting powers! According to the British Nutrition Foundation, vitamin D insufficiency is widespread in older people in the UK, particularly among those in residential care. This highlights the importance of care homes supporting their residents to spend as much time in their gardens as possible (weather permitting!).

The best way to encourage residents to enjoy the outdoors is to arrange some fun activities in the garden! Below, you will find 5 of our favourite garden activity ideas for care homes.

1. Gardening

Gardening is a popular activity among the older generation and certainly, one they should be encouraged to continue! One study published on Statistica, S. Lock, found that when investigating activities people in the UK do in their spare time in 2019/2020, gardening was more popular among older generations with 47% saying they participated in the hobby. Many care homes have adapted their gardens to make them resident-friendly by creating level paths, raised flowerbeds and building summer houses where activities can take place.

One gardening themed idea for care homes is creating a vegetable patch that can be tended to by the residents. They can enjoy nurturing the vegetable patch, watching the produce grow, picking it when it is ready, and perhaps even having the pleasure of eating it!

2. Outdoor music

Care homes are often inundated with talented musical performers offering to perform for their residents – and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t enjoy music & sun simultaneously on sunny days! Music is said to help people feel uplifted, contented and can improve health. Amidst the global pandemic, having performers perform outside in the fresh air is a much more Covid-friendly option.

If Government guidance advises against garden visits from outside performers, there are still ways that care homes can appreciate music outdoors. Whether this is the care home arranging a percussion orchestra formed of residents with practices held outside, or a fun-loving sing-along of old summertime hits from back in the day!

3. Garden games

There are endless different outdoor games that care homes can organise for the former sportsmen/women of their residents. The beauty of some of these games is that they can be adapted to varying cognitive abilities and physical care needs. Common game favourites among care home residents include boules, croquet and skittles.

Whilst reaping the benefits of being in the sun such as vitamin D and improved mood, outdoor games also promote movement which helps to prevent a decline in dexterity in older people. Not to mention that residents can enjoy a bit of friendly competition & have a laugh together. Games can be a great way for residents to bond with other residents and socialise.

4. Tea parties

Who doesn’t love a cup of tea with a sweet treat?! Hosting a tea party or afternoon tea in the garden on sunny days sure is a great incentive for residents to spend some quality time together outdoors.

If Government guidance permits over the coming months, care homes may even be able to invite the friends & family members of residents to join in with their tea parties. To jazz things up, care homes could create some refreshing mocktails to help keep everyone’s hydration levels up!

5. Arts & crafts

Arts & crafts are always a big hit with care home residents! When the sun is shining, there’s no reason why the fun can’t be had outdoors! According to Today’s Geriatric Medicine, making art causes our brain to reshape and restructure itself which leads to increased cognitive function.

With arts, one can let the imagination run free with endless possibilities. However, some of our recommendations for care homes include watercolour paintings of the garden/grounds of the home, creating a collage of things found in the garden such as leaves and flowers and collecting flowers to flower press.

Whilst enjoying the outdoors, it is, of course, always important for care homes to ensure that their residents have a shaded area to sit, keep well-hydrated, are appropriately dressed (summer hats may be needed!), and have applied sunscreen to protect their skin to prevent any sun-induced illnesses.

If you’re searching for a care home with a garden for your loved one, contact TrustedCare.co.uk who will be able to recommend suitable care homes near to you for free!

Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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