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Nature scheme to help people with dementia in Dorset

Trees woods

Published at 9:59am 16th April 2018.

Nearly 13,000 people in Dorset aged over 65 are living with Dementia.

A new nature project is now helping to improve their wellbeing.

The Dorset Area of Outstanding Beauty Partnership are working with organisations like Dorset Wildlife Trust and the RSPB.

Stepping into Nature is a three-year Big Lottery Funded project aiming to improve the wellbeing of Dorset's older people, including those living with dementia and their carers.

Dorset AONB Partnership are working with local organisations such as Dorset Wildlife Trust, RSPB and Dorset Forest School to deliver activities suitable for dementia patients and the people who look after them.

The idea is to provide opportunities for increased connection to green spaces, to meet with others and to learn new skills.

Steph Aburrow from the project explains how it aims to help: "People affected by dementia can have several issues, it could be memory, perception, communication, and there's a lot of fear and stigma surrounded around dementia as well which can lead people to feel isolated, and that's where this project comes in."

"Everybody knows that nature can improve your health. If you get stressed you go for a nature walk, and that's the same for people with dementia too. It has the same distressing qualities. People can come along, they can make new friends and learn new skills as well. We have woodworking and gardening, there are a whole wealth of benefits to outdoor activities."

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