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Green spaces, dementia and a meaningful life in the community: a mixed studies review
Engagement in green spaces impacts positively on wellbeing and quality of life. However, little is known about the impacts of green space engagement specifically for people living with the experience of dementia in the community; people with a heightened need to maintain a quality life. In this mixed study review, we explore existing evidence for quality of life impacts of contact with green spaces by people living with dementia in the community.
Findings show that gardens and horticultural programs, green care farms, parks, urban woodlands and neighbourhood outdoor environments can impact positively in several ways. Four key mechanisms are identified: Engaging in meaningful activities; Empowerment; Positive risk taking; and Reinforcing Identity. These findings provide conceptual links between psychosocial understandings of the relationships between nature and wellbeing with rights-based dementia discourses.
We conclude that evidence specific for people living with dementia in the community setting is growing and there is potential for green spaces to enable an active and meaningful community-life, despite cognitive decline. This is worthy of consideration by policy makers, practitioners and carers. Future studies can broaden this field of research and include investigations into lesser-explored aspects of quality of life, such as spirituality, and methods that incorporate the voices of people living with dementia.
Publication titleHealth and Place
Department/SchoolWicking Dementia Research Education Centre
PublisherPergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
Place of publicationThe Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb
Rights statement© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.