Just imagine the sun on your face, the fresh air surrounding you, the sounds of gentle running water and the endless vision of blossoming flowers and greenery! Does it sound nice and relaxing? This is just a taste of what our residents, family, staff and volunteers have been able to experience in our Therapeutic Garden at Corner Brook Long Term Care Home since the garden opened in 2013.
This extra outdoor space is like any garden you would have at home (but probably on a bigger scale). Along with this extra space you have more opportunities for summer enjoyment, more opportunities for leisure and more quality time to share with loved ones in a welcoming outdoor area.
Over the past 5 years our residents have had many wonderful opportunities because of this space. The garden has the most beautiful selection of perennials with a touch of wild berries! It allows for annual flower care, vegetable and herb gardening as well as potted plants. In 2014 we incorporated a wheelchair swing into the garden which allows any resident to relax with family and friends during any warm summer day. We use this space to promote outdoor events during summer, like big celebratory gardening parties, occasional BBQs, regular music and a scatter lawn game. Another great opportunity this garden provides is to join forces with a local day care. We have an arrangement with Stepping Stones Day whereby the children visit on a weekly basis to assist our resident gardeners weed the area, water the plants and enjoy a summer treat together.
It is easy to see why the addition has worked out so perfectly – it adds so much to the lives of everyone in Corner Brook Long Term Care Home. One very interesting “trend” that we have noticed since the garden opened is that each year there seems to be one or two residents who tend to step into the role of “garden supervisor.” Those residents will regularly inquire about the garden and ask to go out daily. Once out, they eagerly attend to watering all plants and flowers, organize the furniture, tidy up the area if needed and can be seen going in and out of the garden shed to get necessary supplies. It is clear that some residents take pride in ownership of this garden as it provides them with a sense of productivity – often resembling what they would have done years ago.
This additional outdoor space offers so much to so many. All of the residents and families have taken advantage of the social aspects, the extra leisure opportunities and the relaxing atmosphere. We have seen our Therapeutic garden grow each summer and it is always a welcomed sight for everyone at Corner Brook Long Term Care Home each time the snow vanishes.
The Corner Brook Long Term Care Home’s Therapeutic Garden was funded by a bequest through the Western Regional Hospital Foundation’s Planned Giving Program. The garden honours Robert and Edith Skinner, a Pasadena couple who left part of their estate to the Planned Giving Program and the Foundation matched their bequest.
Recreation Development Specialist