Vermillion, SD –Sanford Vermillion Medical Center is the first facility in a five state region to fully integrate reminiscence with therapeutic activities for the residents, patients, visitors, and staff with the new Healing Garden. The Healing Garden provides a space for quiet healing and meditation in addition to space where a patient can relearn functions of the past through physical and occupational therapy.
The garden spans over 6,000 square feet of space and includes such items as a 1941 International truck, a windmill, a two-bottom plow as well as a water feature, raised flower beds and a vegetable garden. All these features intend to lend to the rural ambience with which citizens of the area are so familiar.
Since the garden opened in mid-May, hospice nurse Joanne Martin has watched the faces of dementia patients brighten upon seeing the vintage farm equipment, old-fashioned roses and bright, colorful flower beds.
"They identify with things ... it pulls the memories out of them. It improves the quality of their life for a few minutes," Martin said.
Staff members continue to realize more ways to incorporate the garden into everyday care and treatment.
"We probably haven't even begun to touch what it can do," said Bob Brockevelt, Rehab Services Manager at Sanford Vermillion.
“Including the value of in-kind donations, the garden cost approximately $150,000,” said Gene Lunn, Dakota Hospital Foundation director. But the effect it has had on patients in such a short amount of time is priceless.
The Healing Garden concept has been a vision for the Sanford Care Center Vermillion since 2004.
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