Gardens can cure dementia patients: Study

IANS| Last Updated: Jul 15, 2014, 19:21 PM IST

London: For people suffering from dementia, spending time in gardens can bring relaxation, encourage activities and reduce stress, shows a study.

"Gardens can benefit dementia sufferers by providing them with sensory stimulation and an environment that triggers memories," said lead researcher Rebecca Whear from University of Exeter Medical School.

Gardens not only present an opportunity to relax in a calming setting, but also to remember skills and habits that have brought enjoyment in the past, Whear noted.

The study, supported by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula (NIHR PenCLAHRC), also found that gardens offer welcome spaces for interactions with visitors.

"Still, there is a lot we do not know about how a garden`s design and setting influence its ability to affect well being. Yet, it is clear that these spaces need to offer a range of ways of interacting for dementia patients," stressed Ruth Garside, an expert in evidence synthesis and one of the paper`s authors.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the number of people living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 35.6 million.

This number will double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050.

The research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.