Designing with nature for ageing: Health-related effects in care settings
Book chapter, 2020

Drawing on international research and practice, this chapter highlights how designing with nature improves care and health for ageing. We outline the benefits of nature and outdoors to care settings, architecture’s crucial role in ‘edge spaces’ and site design, plus give brief UK design examples from extra-care housing, dementia nursing care and hospice. Furthermore, we identify tools to assess and improve care settings to better support dementia green care. Scientific evidence is driving a resurgence in nature-enhanced hospital design. Gardens with pleasant views and other sensory stimulation provide psychological and physiological restoration from stress and clinically significant reduction of pain. Well-designed gardens can entice patients into movement, physical activity or rehabilitation by providing access to social support, privacy, and positive nature distraction. Families as well as patients report reduced stress, enhanced emotional well-being, and higher satisfaction with care quality, while hospital staff experience lowered work-related stress and burnout. The chapter ends with evidence-informed guidelines for designing hospitals with nature.


Garuth Chalfont

Roger Ulrich

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Design

Texas A&M University

Architecture for Residential Care and Ageing Communities: Spaces for Dwelling and Healthcare

9781000202236 (ISBN)

Subject Categories

Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy


Gerontology, specialising in Medical and Health Sciences



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