eCite Digital Repository

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


Mmako, NJ and Courtney-Pratt, H and Marsh, P, Green spaces, dementia and a meaningful life in the community: a mixed studies review, Health and Place, 63 Article 102344. ISSN 1353-8292 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2020.102344


Engagement in green spaces impacts positively on wellbeing and quality of life. However, little is known about the impacts of green space engagement specifically for people living with the experience of dementia in the community; people with a heightened need to maintain a quality life. In this mixed study review, we explore existing evidence for quality of life impacts of contact with green spaces by people living with dementia in the community.

Findings show that gardens and horticultural programs, green care farms, parks, urban woodlands and neighbourhood 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 findings provide conceptual links between psychosocial understandings of the relationships between nature and wellbeing with rights-based dementia discourses.

We conclude that evidence specific for people living with dementia in the community setting is growing and there 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 of research and include investigations into lesser-explored aspects of quality of life, such as spirituality, and methods that incorporate the voices of people living with dementia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:green space, nature, dementia, identity, empowerment, quality of life
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Urban sociology and community studies
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Mmako, NJ (Mrs Nkolika Mmako)
UTAS Author:Courtney-Pratt, H (Dr Helen Courtney-Pratt)
UTAS Author:Marsh, P (Dr Pauline Marsh)
ID Code:138847
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2020-05-04
Last Modified:2021-01-27

Repository Staff Only: item control page