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Health & Wellbeing

MHA The Wilderness is a garden space accessible to older people living within MHA Hall Grange care home, and in the Croydon area as well as those looking to visit a relaxing and scenic space.

"I feel more alive when I am at the Wilderness".

"My dementia is really bad today but I won’t let it kick in, I want to have fun today and this look very fun. This feels good, loves the feeling of the prickly holly. Isn’t it beautiful?".

The Wilderness offers activities designed to benefit the health and wellbeing of older people as well as encouraging them to meet new people and ensure they have a sense of belonging to the community in which they live.

Part of The Wilderness’s wellbeing programme is Green Care therapeutic activities which take place through interaction with nature and are particularly beneficial to improve the physical and mental health of older people and those living with dementia, which helps them to live later life well.

The programme ranges from indoor and outdoor sessions such as potting and gardening which offers participants the possibility to be actively engaged with the restoration of The Wilderness garden.

Within the Green Care programme we also offer a Nature Box - a tool that explores seasonal changes in the garden, combined with sensory items, to boosts creativity whilst enhancing participants’ senses to trigger memories. Green Care acts as a key to unlock memories, emotions, feeling and abilities.

Recent evidence shows that engaging with nature can have a range of mental and emotional benefits for people living with dementia, offering a feeling of normality, peace and wellbeing, but also a feeling of freedom and a change of environment. It helps people to feel happier, more settled, relaxed, less stressed and raises spirits.

There can also be social benefits of engaging with nature by encouraging more interaction and participation, and conversations can be started when memories are triggered. Behaviour can also be improved by people being busier, more motivated and more alert.

Email us to find out how we can support health & wellbeing through our green care activities thewilderness@mha.org.uk

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