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From little things big things grow

Aged care provider Benetas has partnered up with a local school in Mornington to develop a sensory garden for its dementia residents at Benetas Corowa Court.

<p>Local students have developed a sensory dementia garden for residents at benetas Corowa Court.</p>

Local students have developed a sensory dementia garden for residents at benetas Corowa Court.

Students from Padua College worked with a specialist landscape architect to develop the garden, which will contribute to residents’ wellbeing through a range of sensory elements.

Benetas General Manager Residential Services and Quality and Compliance, Paula Trood, says the initiative was introduced as part of Benetas’ commitment to challenging stereotypes around ageing and aged care, particularly amongst younger people.

“We want to help young people better understand what it’s like to be an older person, and demystify some of the misconceptions about ageing and aged care facilities,” Ms Trood says.

“At the same time, this project has worked to connect residents with younger members of the community, which contributes to their sense of wellbeing and works to limit the instances of social isolation.”

The project is part of the Year 12 students’ Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) assessment.

As part of the project the students have been involved in learning and development sessions to get a better understanding of dementia and the needs of older people.

They worked in pairs to design one segment of the garden each, based on important dementia gardening design elements.

Their work has also culminated in a raised garden bed, which will be the focal point of a broader courtyard redevelopment to be undertaken as part of the expansion of Benetas Corowa Court.

The expansion, which is due for completion in early 2016, will see the capacity of the facility double from 60 to 120 beds in a $14 million dollar investment by Benetas.

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