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The importance of outdoor space in care home design

  • Physical Health Benefits: Outdoor spaces promote good sleep, provide essential vitamin D, and encourage physical activity, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, and alleviating inflammation.
  • Mental Health Enhancement: Time spent outdoors reduces anxiety, boosts self-esteem, combats feelings of helplessness, and improves concentration, facilitating a smoother transition to care home life.
  • Social Interaction: Ample outdoor space fosters socialization through group activities, strengthening bonds among residents and creating a sense of community and belonging.

Sunlight and fresh air is important to everyone – it promotes good sleep hygiene, it provides us with much needed vitamin D for healthy bones, and goes hand in hand with exercise which, of course, is essential.

For the elderly, however, the benefits are even more wide reaching, which is why the integration of outdoor space in care home design is vital for residents’ long-term health.

close up of green leaves in forest

Let’s explore these benefits further.

How to promote physical health in a care home

As well as promoting good sleep hygiene and providing a source of vitamin D, spending time outdoors can also:

  • Lower cortisol levels, the hormone related to stress
  • Lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and strokes
  • Reduce inflammation, protecting against arthritis

How to improve mental health in a care home

Life in care homes can be a difficult adjustment to make.

Providing enough outdoor space is a good way to make this transition smoother.

Spending time outside is known to:

  • Reduce levels of anxiety
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Reduce feelings of helplessness and dependency
  • Improve concentration

How to make your care home more sociable

On top of the mental and physical benefits, having enough outdoor space in a care home also allows residents to socialise better.

Providing space for familiar group activities like walks and gardening can strengthen bonds and prompt positive memories.

How to best use outdoor space in a care home

  • Accessible: A well-designed care home garden should be easily accessible from indoors, so pathways need to be clear and surfaces level.
  • Simple design: To help residents navigate the space, the design should be as simple as possible. Pathways should lead back to the point where they began, and materials like gravel and bark should be avoided as they could throw residents off balance.
  • Seating areas: For residents with mobility issues, providing enough seating areas is crucial. Ideally, these should be sheltered from sun and strong winds, and provide enough room for wheelchairs

Aedifice Partnership is a leading consultancy and project management firm specializing in delivering high-quality projects across various sectors, including care homes, residential properties, education establishments, and commercial properties.

Our range of services includes project management, chartered building surveys, CDM and quantity surveying among others.

It’s not easy to incorporate all of the above into your care home design, but with the right property consultants at your side, it’s much easier.

Here at Aedifice Partnership, we manage new care and retirement village construction projects throughout the UK.

Why not give us a call today to see how we can help you. 


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