Gardening can be a very fulfilling activity particularly for the elderly, those with learning difficulties, or suffering from dementia.
Apart from the obvious rewards of fresh air and exercise, gardening can have physical, mental and therapeutic benefits. It can reduce stress levels, be mentally stimulating, help with social interaction and give a real sense of satisfaction and pride in accomplishing something everyone can enjoy. It is therefore a great activity to encourage at your care home or hospice to help your residents.
However, it is important to remember how these tranquil settings can also have hidden risks which require attention in the same way threats within the home are dealt with. Before your residents venture out into a care home or hospice garden, or any activity takes place, ensure the correct risk assessments have been completed.
Some important tasks to mitigate risks in your care home or hospice garden before the summer months are:
You should also ensure you do not leave any gardening equipment unattended, and may want to consider fitting safety glass in any greenhouses.
High temperatures can be dangerous, especially for the elderly. It is useful to be prepared if the weather is hot, to keep your care home or hospice residents cool in the garden.
If any care home or hospice member of staff or resident starts to show signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, seek medical advice immediately. Ensure they are kept in a cool and shaded area and are kept well hydrated while you wait for medical assistance.
Carolyn Baker-Mellor is a respected industry leader with over 35 years' experience within the care insurance sector. She works across a wide spectrum of insurance product and policy development, delivery and optimisation for care industry clients, including managing global corporate accounts, working closely with trade associations, and helping clients in protecting their businesses and personal assets. Her areas of expertise within the sector include care homes, nurseries, domiciliary care, hospices and charities.
Carolyn currently works at Towergate as Head of Care Insurance. Towergate is the UK’s leading independent insurance broking platform and forms part of the Ardonagh Group, an international network of over 100 offices and 7,000 people which incorporates leading brands in both Lloyd’s of London and global markets.
She previously worked for 10 years at Aon as a director, client services leader and assistant director for claims.
Date: April 05, 2018
Category: Care and Medical