Since it began in 2016, DIGnity Supported Community Gardening has offered a therapeutic outdoor environment for community members with physical or mental disabilities, cognitive constraints, and people who are socially isolated due to grief, chronic conditions or other reasons.
Over that time, we have watched how different people have enjoyed and taken comfort from being in the garden. Interactions are informal and respectful. As Nella, one of the DIGnity participants says, “Ideas are valued in this kind of set up”.
This guide has been developed jointly with participants in the DIGnity gardening groups, including people who are living with dementia. People shared all sorts of ideas for how to make supported gardening groups a success for people with dementia: from food growing tips to shelter and seating suggestions. Their hints are in the resources.
We have enjoyed our learning along the way and are keen to share it with others. While our suggestions are not definitive or exhaustive, we hope this guide will help show other community gardens how to become more dementia-inclusive.