To evaluate whether a therapeutic garden can improve the quality of life of aged care residents with dementia and their carers, objective instruments as well as interviews with residents, staff, and family members were employed. Residents' mean quality of life scores increased by just over 10%, mean depression scores decreased similarly and mean agitation scores decreased by almost half. Resident, staff and family member interviews elicited positive feedback including observations that it had improved the quality of life for residents and decreased staff and family stress levels. In sum, qualitative and quantitative pre and post findings indicate that an environmental change such as a therapeutic garden can improve the lives of aged care residents with dementia, and their formal and informal carers.
Keywords: Agitation; dementia; garden; quality of life; residential facilities.