Until recently care settings for those with Alzheimer's disease have not focused on the outside environment and the need to encourage older adults to spend time outside in fresh air and sunshine. Safe, secure outside spaces encourage walking and other forms of exercise and, in addition, offer beneficial exposure to increased natural light levels. Gardens and other outdoor settings provide many opportunities for socialization, sensory stimulation, fun, and meaningful activities. Designing the outside environment has been an overlooked opportunity to create meaningful places that are rich in association, encourage good health and exercise, and are responsive to the magic of the changing seasons.
President of Design Concepts Unlimited in Sausalito, California
Address correspondence to: Elizabeth C. Brawley, IIDA, Design Concepts Unlimited, P.O. Box 454, Sausalito, CA 94966. Telephone: 415–332–8382. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.