Staggeringly just one in ten people with dementia get to go outside each month. Abbeyfield were aware that simply taking a breath of fresh air outside has significant therapeutic benefits for older people, helping improve their health, happiness and wellbeing.
Out of this research, the concept ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ was created.
Using a legacy received from a former resident at Victoria House, Abbeyfield created a stunning garden. The garden addressed common concerns for residents that had previously prevented them getting out and enjoying the outdoors. This wasn’t just any garden; this was a garden that had been designed from the ground up with dementia sufferers in mind.
The stunning design included a continuous pathway that flows in a circular direction and doesn’t just come to an end, a wall and hand rail that flows and curves, as well as the plants that are known to relax and calm the senses.
The garden is a space for quiet contemplation that will mean that increasingly more residents will venture out and enjoy the space – it’s a space to connect with nature. It’s a space where residents and their visiting families can really enjoy the space.
The garden was designed by landscape designer, Rae Wilkinson and showcased at the 2016 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, achieving a silver award by judges.
Painstakingly assembled for the show by a team including volunteers, the garden was exhibited and then broken down and taken to its final resting place, Victoria House, where a team of volunteers helped assemble the garden, allowing residents to enjoy it and the legacy to live on forever.
Energise Media provided filming at Hampton Court including capturing the garden with a series of different styles such as time-lapse, macro shots, slow motion and a series of interviews.
The footage provided the perfect backdrop to the incredible hard work that went into turning the garden from an idea to the actual garden you see in the film.
Using a blend of factual information and emotion, Breath of Fresh Air is an inspiring journey capturing the best of Abbeyfield and its residents.