Dementia Care Best Practice - The Scotswood Garden

For Dementia Awareness Week from 20-26 May this year, the Housing LIN has gathered examples of where extra care schemes or other housing related community services have supported people with dementia to develop meaningful relationships to prevent unwanted social isolation or reduce loneliness.

The examples range from informal arrangements supported by staff or other residents as well as more formal service provision.  Today’s example of best practice comes from Your Homes Newcastle.

The Scotswood Garden - Newcastle Community Gardens

Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) used its Community Investment to help more people with dementia or limited mobility enjoy being outdoors in a safe and peaceful environment.  The Scotswood Garden opened in February, with a celebration event attended by some of the residents of Your Homes Newcastle’s sheltered housing schemes.

The residents enjoyed the garden, which boasts a covered seating area, raised beds, a levelled walkway and composting toilet, all arranged in a way that makes it more accessible and easier to benefit from.  One resident said: “It’s really important to have this kind of thing because it got me out of the house. I would have stayed in and sat by myself if I hadn’t gone. It’s a treat for us elderly people.”

Another resident from a different sheltered housing scheme said: “I like the way the garden is set out with the new covered-in area and raised beds for us slightly older people.”

“I used to be quite isolated and by visiting the garden I have met new people and volunteers.”

YHN’s Community Investment Fund aims to strengthen local communities and community partnerships and to decrease levels of social isolation, especially in areas where YHN has properties.

The CEO of the Scotswood Garden, Karen Dobson, said, “Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and the funding from YHN and other partner organisations, we now have a fabulous, accessible garden that gives people with mobility issues or dementia the chance to enjoy the health benefits of being outdoors in a safe and welcoming space.”

The garden is now accessible and YHN has established a solid partnership with the charity themselves.  Residents with dementia who live in YHN’s sheltered housing schemes will soon be taking part in a 14 week horticultural therapy course.

To learn more about the Scotswood Garden, please go to (opens new window).

For more information contact

Twitter @newsfromyhn

To read this and other case studies, go to the full report on our 'Focus on Dementia' webpages at: Going the Extra Step. A compendium of best practice in dementia care.

  The views expressed in this feature have been provided by the featured organisations and are not necessarily those of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network. 

If you have any examples from your own organisation that you would like to share please send details to Katey Twyford and Wendy Wells, Housing and Dementia co-leads for the Housing LIN, .  We will be developing a compendium of best practice examples to go on the Housing LIN website.