We have written lots of articles and blogs about our research and our new approach to creating actively and meaningfully used outside spaces for residents living in care settings. Below, we group them into themes to make it easier to find the topic you want to read about. This selection contains lots of insights and helpful information to support both designers and care staff interested in helping residents to engage more effectively and sustainably with their gardens.

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Going Outside More, Handy Tips, Tackling Myths About Using the Garden

NAPA Living Life Magazine – Summer 2018 Promoting the Interconnectedness of indoors and outdoors in care settings (PDF 3.5Mb)

Lots of prompts and ideas to help make your care setting more outdoors-focused and ready to make the most of all the fantastic opportunities to engage actively and meaningfully with your outside spaces.

NAPA Living Life Magazine – Autumn 2017 – Mythbusting and explaining care culture (PDF 6MB)

An explanation of care culture and ‘myth-busting’: tackling the most commonly stated reasons for not using the outdoors more. Lots of practical and helpful tips and guidance on how to use the outside space more actively and more often.

NAPA Living Life – Spring 2015 The Checklist Tool (PDF 1Mb)

We describe our sense-checking and money-saving tool, the Checklist, to ensure activities, features or elements planned for the garden will be appropriate and cost-effective, particularly for residents living with dementia.

NAPA Living Life – Autumn 2014 Top Ten Tips for Care Staff (PDF 1.86Mb)

We explore our Top 10 insights and tips to help care settings overcome common obstacles hindering better engagement with the garden for residents in care settings, and particularly for those living with dementia.

Care Culture and Care Management Practices

Care Management Matters – December 2017 (PDF 1.8Mb)

An in-depth article that explains what we mean by ‘culture change’, the challenge that this presents for care sector managers and how our Care Culture Map tool aids the care setting on its culture change journey towards greater engagement levels with the outside space.

Care Roadshows 2017 website blog – series of 5 articles (PDF 900kB)

A series of short articles about our research, why we focus on care culture as the key to understanding engagement levels with the outside space and what to consider before making physical changes or employing a Garden Designer or other outside specialist.

Journal for Dementia Care – Spring 2015 article “Why Don’t We Go Into The Garden?” (PDF 6Mb)

The equivalent of our academic paper on the research project we carried out to understand why care setting gardens are not more actively used. It covers the methodology we used and the unexpected journey we went on that revealed the key findings and what this means for care settings and designers and other outside specialists.

Garden Designer Considerations, Helpful Insights for Working With Care Settings

Landscape Show 2017 – series of 5 short articles (PDF 600kB)

A series of short articles posing some challenging questions for Garden Designers and Landscape Architects when working with care settings to ensure their support is cost-effective and leads to actively and meaningfully used outdoor spaces.

Landscape Show 2016 Preview magazine – series of 5 short articles (PDF 900kB)

We address the question, “Why aren’t care home gardens used more actively?” to garden designers and outside specialists and describe key insights from our research project that can help answer this question and avoid creating under-used outdoor spaces around care settings.

The Horticulturist magazine – Autumn 2016 – article (PDF 4Mb)

A long article that goes into detail about key elements of our research project and how we needed to address our beliefs and attitudes about our work as designers and how this led to the breakthrough in our understanding about why care setting gardens are not more actively used even when they meet the latest design guidance. Includes detailed Top 10 points for garden designers and other outside specialists to consider when working with care clients.

The Care Home Environment – Vol. 1 Issue 2 Nov 16 (PDF 6Mb)

In this long article, we explain how we discovered the link between care culture and active use of the outside space around care settings and how this informed our decision to create a ‘Map’ tool to help care settings address their care cultures and activate their outside spaces.

Garden Design Journal December 2015 article – Relationship-Centred Design (PDF 1.2Mb)

A challenging and thought-provoking article for our designer peers calling for a new way to work with our care sector clients, and introducing our new approach we call ‘Relationship-Centred Design’ (RCD)

Step Change Design – Information about our day to day work

Our Year In Review 2018 (PDF 850Kb)

Our Year In Review 2017 (PDF 665Kb)

2016: Our Year in Review (PDF 1.5MB)

Our contribution to the consultation on Wales’ Dementia Strategy Action Plans 2017 – 2022 (PDF 500kB)

Mainly by splitting up the back garden, residents began to use the space.

Care home manager, Lancashire Step Change - Garden Design 26th July 2016

I have been able to make significant changes due to rethinking and planning our outdoor provisions. We have added an outside cafe area and will be working on bringing the outdoors inside next spring.

Care home manager, Cardiff Step Change - Garden Design 26th July 2016

Thank you for all your advice.

Activities Manager, care home, Cheshire Step Change - Garden Design 26th July 2016