UNION — A “Healing Garden” that will provide its residents with more opportunities for outdoor physical activities will be built by Ellen Sagar Nursing Center with funds provided by the Spartanburg Regional Foundation.
In a ceremony at the Piedmont Club in Spartanburg earlier this month, the Foundation awarded a total of $695,000 in grants to 27 organizations that provide health and wellness services in the Upstate. One of those organizations was Ellen Sagar which received $53,234 for the construction of an outdoor courtyard for its 113 residents.
“This is for the residents,” Ellen Sagar Nursing Home Administrator Annette Schaper said. “They will able to go out in the courtyard when they want and come back in when they want to. It will also be a place where they can spend time outdoors with their families. Local groups like churches that come in to present programs for the residents will also be able to use it as well.”
Schaper said that currently, residents cannot go outside on their own unless a member of staff is available to do so with them. The new courtyard, however, will be secure with level ground that can accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. She said residents will be able to go out into the courtyard when they want to without waiting for a member of the staff to be available to accompany them and then be able to come back in when they are ready to do so.
The ability to come and go from inside to the outside and back again when they please is especially important as many residents spent much of their lives outside and now only have limited opportunity to do so.
“We’re going to call it the ‘Healing Garden’ because the residents don’t get much time outside,” Schaper said. “You can see that many of them have enjoyed the outside during their lives. Now they are are inside much of the time and are able to get outside only on a one-on-one basis when a staffer can accompany them.
“With this they will be able to go out into a secure area and then come back when they are ready,” she said. “They can go out there with their families and they can even go out when it snows. We have residents here who like to go out in the snow and they’ll be able to do that.”
Schaper said plans are for the garden to include flowers, lights, and possibly even flowing water. She said the construction of the garden is projected to be completed by July 1, 2017.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.