Therapeutic gardens for dementia or Alzheimer patients
Fontenuovo, Mati 1909, Generali Arredamenti
In January 2016, the Fontenuovo residence opened a unit for Alzheimer’s patients that includes an innovative therapeutic garden designed by a multidisciplinary team that emphasizes the social value of the garden.
The design meets the requirements defined in the most recent scientific studies aimed at improving the health, behavior and quality of life of patients. Thus space is planned naturally, with inputs, outputs, paths, work and rest areas and well-defined points of reference that allow easy orientation and reduce the feeling of insecurity. The garden has five sensorial areas that contain more than thirty plant species and that allow the stimulation of the senses of the patients.
Other Italian institutions and companies are working on the design of these types of gardens. Recently, two companies, Mati 1909 and Generali Arredamenti, presented in Pistoia a garden prototype for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, also with the aforementioned general characteristics.
For several decades, numerous scientific studies have shown how the design of outdoor spaces is an essential element in the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients. In 2012, the Umbria region launched a therapeutic park framework project in which the Fontenuovo residential garden is an example, while the Pistoia prototype is a sign of the growing interest in this type of facilities around Italy.
In the last years many therapeutic gardens have been created for Alzheimer’s patients in several countries. Apart from Italy, other countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States have been pioneers in therapeutic gardens, and the respective medical societies have issued guidelines so that the design is optimally adapted to the needs of the patients.