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Green spaces, dementia and a meaningful life in the community: a mixed studies review

Mmako, NJ, Courtney-Pratt, H ORCID: 0000-0002-6812-3360 and Marsh, P ORCID: 0000-0002-4371-2628 2020 , 'Green spaces, dementia and a meaningful life in the community: a mixed studies review' , Health and Place, vol. 63 , pp. 1-11 , doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2020.102344.

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Engagement in green spaces impacts positively on wellbeing and quality of life. However, little is known aboutthe impacts of green space engagement specifically for people living with the experience of dementia in thecommunity; people with a heightened need to maintain a quality life. In this mixed study review, we exploreexisting evidence for quality of life impacts of contact with green spaces by people living with dementia in thecommunity.Findings show that gardens and horticultural programs, green care farms, parks, urban woodlands andneighbourhood outdoor environments can impact positively in several ways. Four key mechanisms are identified:Engaging in meaningful activities; Empowerment; Positive risk taking; and Reinforcing Identity. These findingsprovide conceptual links between psychosocial understandings of the relationships between nature and wellbeingwith rights-based dementia discourses.We conclude that evidence specific for people living with dementia in the community setting is growing andthere is potential for green spaces to enable an active and meaningful community-life, despite cognitive decline.This is worthy of consideration by policy makers, practitioners and carers. Future studies can broaden this field ofresearch and include investigations into lesser-explored aspects of quality of life, such as spirituality, andmethods that incorporate the voices of people living with dementia.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Mmako, NJ and Courtney-Pratt, H and Marsh, P
Keywords: green space, nature, dementia, identity, empowerment, quality of life
Journal or Publication Title: Health and Place
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN: 1353-8292
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2020.102344
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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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