Guidance for designs that meed the needs of older adults aging in place

Beautiful outdoor spaces, public parks, lovely gardens—these are the traditional places you might enjoy the work of a landscape architect. We create designs using tools such as line, form, color, and texture to put plants, structures, and paving together in harmony. Beyond the traditional work of a landscape architect, Second Summer™ applies the research about therapeutic, healing and memory gardens for homeowners. Why wait to experience these great garden designs when you are in a nursing home? Live better, stronger, healthier now. Connect with nature in an ageless way that's perfect for you.

Four Ways Your Yard Can Help You Age with Pleasure, Comfort and Safety

A thoughtfully designed yard or garden helps you build and maintain:

1. Social Connection

People who age successfully have a strong network of family, friends and acquaintances. But everyone is different. Perhaps you want a safe space to play with the grandchildren. Maybe you want to introduce friends to gardening and share your delight in bird- and butterfly-watching. Or you want places to sit and socialize with friends. We can help you design just the right space for now and for future use.

2. Physical Vitality

Concerned about falling? Moderate exercise is a key to healthy aging, and often the most convenient place to do it is at home. You could have a special outdoor spot for yoga, tai chi or strength-building exercises with a surface that’s protective if you fall. You can continue to exercise even with the physical changes that happen as you get older. We can help you choose precisely the right combination to suit your needs.

3. Mental Acuity

Worried about memory loss or depression? Studies show that people need a connection to nature to be healthy.  Enjoying all of your senses – sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste – in a natural setting can revive and strengthen the brain’s pathways. Elderyarding® may involve special exercises to identify your individual responses to the natural world. I use this information to design your yard with the colors, shapes, sounds and fragrances that you find most appealing. This can bring back happy memories and help you create new ones. 

4. Spiritual Comfort

The garden can bring to mind two comforting concepts as we age. One is stewardship of nature shown when we take care of plants or provide for birds, bees, and insects. The second is the circle of life, the continuity of the seasons, when we simply observe sprouting, growing, and harvesting. Through our unique exercises, we can help you pinpoint what's most important for comfort and contemplation and design the garden to fit you.

Design Principles for Ageless Gardens

 In addition to these tools, I have developed a set of design principles that I apply to every Elderyarding® design. Unique to you and your needs, I incorporate the way you respond to nature—the sights, sounds, even fragrances—into a design that ensures your yard and garden support you physically, mentally, and spiritually as you age in place. Each design provides:

  1.  Exploration of how your five senses respond to nature and garden elements,
    plus your life experiences and memories of landscape styles and archetypes
  2.  Stable, foot- and supportive device-friendly walking surfaces with cues for changes
  3.  Adequate resting spots comfortable to get into - and out of
  4.  A variety of sun and shade experiences based on homeowner preferences
  5.  Considerations for stability when standing
  6.  Adequate lighting to meet changing visual needs
  7.  Support for wayfinding and memory
  8.  Design to accommodate "thinking about going outside"
  9.  Support for possible future changes anticipated in design
  10.  Safety considerations that adapt outdoor tasks to accommodate physical changes due to aging

Call Second Summer™ 512.917.5758 now.