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Poor access to outdoors linked to depressive symptoms in care homes

Lack of access to gardens and outdoor spaces could have a negative effect on care home residents’ mental health, a study has found.
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Lack of access to gardens and outdoor spaces could harm care home residents’ mental health, a study published in The Gerontologist has found.

Researchers visited 50 care homes, including 10 nursing homes, in Coventry, Warwickshire and north-east London, to explore the relationship between depressive symptoms among 510 residents and their physical environments, and the residents' views about the design of the homes in which they live.

About 3% of older people live in care homes in the UK, and more than 40% of residents have significant depressive symptoms.

The researchers found that, while the overall physical environment of care homes is not associated with depressive symptoms, lack of access to outdoor space is.

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