Care home’s boost from funding project

Balhousie have committed themselves to protecting plants, insects and giving nature a home
Balhousie have committed themselves to protecting plants, insects and giving nature a home

Residents in Balhousie Care Homes across Angus - including The Glens in Edzell - are to benefit from a new funding project, formed in conjunction with Voluntary Action Angus and Tayside Biodiversity.

The funding will see care homes’ gardens and outdoor spaces a hive of activity with items such as bird tables, feeders and boxes, hanging baskets, planters, window boxes and seeds, as well as some more unusual wildlife encouragement items such as hedgehog hibernation shelters and bug hotels.

Not only is this a great opportunity for many residents to engage with nature, it is also enables Balhousie to ensure their eco foot-print is as green as can be.

Tayside Biodiversity facilitated a training day last September and Balhousie staff and residents were shown ways in which these items could best be implemented in order to maximize resident engagement and ultimately, enjoyment from them.

Health benefits that can be gained from spending time in nature are well documented, with research showing that both mental and physical benefits can be witnessed in people, even after a very short period of time.

A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, shows that long-suffering dementia and Alzheimer’s patients are known to have decreased symptoms following time spent in gardens or after being exposed to horticultural therapy.

This type of therapy is already used in the homes and staff are excited at the prospect of expanding resources and therefore increasing resident engagement.

Residents will not only be able to enjoy the results of the funding project, they can also get involved with the creation if they wish. A lot of the items, such as the bird boxes and feeders will be made by volunteers from Voluntary Action Angus’ Skill Share group and residents and staff have been invited along to help.

Community is important to both staff and residents alike at Balhousie and it is a great opportunity for different generations to work towards a shared goal, learn from one another, share skills and of course have fun and get creative at the same time.

The project kicks off in April, with help and support being offered at every stage by Tayside Biodiversity.