Juniper chief executive, Vaughan Harding, said the Serenity Garden was an inviting, fresh space that is bringing enjoyment and benefits to many people at the much loved care facility which provides specialised dementia care for 30 of its 75 residents.
“To ensure a good life for our people, we have created a fantastic outdoor area for our residents and families so that they may relax, enjoy themselves and undertake many beneficial activities,” Mr Harding said.
“By providing an inviting space for families to visit encourages interactions between the generations and, combined with activity and exercise, boosts our residents’ general health and wellbeing.”
A $47,000 Lotterywest grant and donations from local suppliers has transformed an underutilised space at St Andrew’s into an interactive, therapeutic garden featuring lawn areas for bowls, golf and bocce, raised vegetable beds, a men’s shed, walking bars, musical drums and water features.
“Being outdoors and engaged in day to day activities, as well as pursuing leisure interests keeps the brain active and can help improve mood, self-esteem, appetite and sleep patterns as well as general wellbeing,” Mr Harding said.
According to St Andrew’s residential manager, Vanda Schulz, residents will be encouraged to remain active by engaging in meaningful roles, such as planting seedlings, watering the garden, raking leaves, and sweeping pathways. Residents will become the carers of their own garden.
The benefits to the residents are numerous and include promoting a sense of pride and self-worth, reducing anxiety and agitation, maintaining mobility and reducing risk of falls, and reduced pain related to periods of prolonged sitting and inactivity.
Mr Harding said active spaces like the Serenity Garden were a feature at many of Juniper’s 20 care facilities and 14 retirement villages that are providing leading aged care and services to more than 4,000 people in Western Australia.
Launching the new garden today Mr Harding thanked the many supporters that made the project happen including, St Andrew’s staff, Lotterywest, suppliers, builders and architects, Protection Engineering, Bunnings and Carpets Online.
Opened in 1999, Juniper St Andrew’s continues to respond to the needs of older Western Australians and their families. In addition to its 30 dementia-specific beds, St Andrew’s provides a further 45 residential care places.
Juniper is a leading provider of residential retirement living, community and aged care services. We first welcomed our residents as Uniting Church Homes in 1949 and have grown to more than 1,400 staff and 500 volunteers who work to enhance the lives of more than 4,000 Western Australians.