Jan 3 / Liz Woods

Wellbeing for residents in January

Essence 52 Theme 1 Evergreen Trees. 
January can be a difficult month for people in general. The festive season is officially over, things are getting back to normal, yet the weather, in the northern hemisphere is still a bit dark and dreary. This can sometimes negatively impact people's mood, and this is especially true for older adults living in residential care. 

Our pagan ancestors brought evergreen branches into their houses during the long cold winter months to add some life and fresh aromas to brighten the dark days.

A recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that 'access to garden greenery may contribute to improved residents’ well-being' (Xu, 2022).

Theme 1, of the Essence 52 lifelong learning and activity programme, which starts on the first week of the year is all about evergreen trees and their essential oils. These essential oils often have strong fresh aromas, which is perfect for this time of year.

So how can activity coordinators help their residents’ wellbeing? One action activity coordinators can take to improve the environmental wellbeing of their residents is to add some fresh greenery to the common areas of the nursing home*.

By wrapping the greenery in some battery fairy lights that automatically turn on late afternoon and stay on for 6 hours can be very useful and effective at creating a cosy and uplifting atmosphere. If you have some greenery decorative items left over from Christmas, why be in a rush to take everything down?  A few more weeks, until the days start to get longer could make a small but welcome difference to your residents' mood. 

If you would like to know more about the Essence 52 wellbeing lifestyle for older people living in residential care, how to use essential oils effectively and safely or how nursing home activity coordinates can train to become Essence 52 programme facilitators, please contact me by email [email protected].


Thanks for reading.

All the best for 2024.

Liz      


*For health and safety, make sure you do not use any poisonous plants and be extra vigilant on leaving greenery around cognitively impaired residents who could ingest such items. 


References: L Xu et al. (2022) Person-centered climate, garden greenery and well-being among nursing home residents: A cross-sectional study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

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