Gardens can ease dementia

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Outdoor spaces can help residents with dementia access memories.
Outdoor spaces can help residents with dementia access memories.

Gardens in nursing homes can help patients with dementia, new research indicates.

The outdoor spaces can promote relaxation, encourage activity and reduce resident agitation, researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School advised. This may be related to the sensory stimulation from a garden, and the fact it's an environment that triggers memories.

However, operations should make sure to mitigate possible hazards in a garden, and ensure staff let residents have time outdoors, researchers said. 

Results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.