Stepping into Nature: Enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of older people and people with dementia
PHE ePoster Library. Taylor C. Sep 12, 2019; 274349; 156
Mrs. Cathryn Taylor
Mrs. Cathryn Taylor
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Abstract Stepping into Nature (SiN) is a programme of activities enabling older people, people with dementia and their carers to spend time in nature. It aims to improve mental health and wellbeing, reduce social isolation and increase independence through increased engagement with natural environments. Funded by The Big Lottery, SiN is a 3-year programme being led by Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. An evaluation of the project is being led by Public Health Dorset to evidence the benefits for participants, particularly in relation to their emotional and physical wellbeing. An evaluation framework has been developed using a mixed methods utilisation approach and shaped using a programme logic and theory of change model. The design uses quantitative measures of activity satisfaction and this, combined with qualitative interviewing to develop participant stories, provides an insight into the programmes impact. In Year Two 383 people attended SiN activities, with 75% aged 60+. Our analysis highlights promising results, not only in terms of reach and engagement with the target group, but the participant narratives emphasise increased mental wellbeing and the impact of the connection to nature. The SiN project is demonstrating how the natural environment can be utilized to enhance the mental and physical wellbeing of older people and those living with dementia. It provides an opportunity to understand how the natural environment can support people to ‘live well' in later life. The core ingredients of good practice will be elicited to inform future nature-based wellbeing initiatives. External funding details Funded by The Big Lottery
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