The fragrance of flowers, chirping of birds and warmth of the sun can be a welcome respite from a busy world. Spending a moment in a soothing setting can bring peace and comfort as well as evoke pleasant memories.
To create a more homelike environment and enhance the quality of life of Southington Care Center residents with dementia, two spaces on the second floor will be renovated. An outdoor patio will be converted into a therapeutic garden patio and an adjourning interior room will remodeled to provide greater access and visibility outdoors thanks to a $150,000 grant recently awarded from the Bradley Henry Barnes & Leila Upson Barnes Memorial Trust of the Main Street Community Foundation.
Research has shown that connection to nature is vital for physical, mental and emotional well-being. In addition, exposure to natural daylight can not only elevate mood but balance the hormone that regulates sleep, often a problem for people with dementia.
“The best definition of resident-centered care is to ‘create home as the resident defines it,’” said Executive Director William Kowalewski. “This project is another step in that direction for Southington Care Center.” Southington Care Center, located at 45 Meriden Ave., offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services in a positive, nurturing environment.
The interior lounge and outdoor garden patio will provide a peaceful setting where people can relax, socialize and enjoy nature’s beauty. Residents will be encouraged to participate in gardening as well as tend bird feeders and experience the sight, sounds and feelings of outdoors. Other uses may include listening to music and playing outdoor games, all while promoting community wellness.
The indoor and outdoor areas will be connected by a “window wall” for better visibility and increased natural light. Raised planting beds as well as attractive pavers will be installed. The area will also be redesigned to include comfortable, age-friendly outdoor furniture. The project, which is currently being designed, is slated to be completed in the spring of 2019.
“We are honored to carry out Bradley Barnes’ legacy through these important health initiatives,” said Susan Sadecki, president and chief executive officer of the Main Street Community Foundation.
The Bradley Henry Barnes & Leila Upson Barnes Memorial Trust was originally established in 1973 by the late Bradley Henry Barnes of Southington to support the health and health care needs of Southington residents. The Trust was transferred to the Main Street Community Foundation in 2004.
Southington Care Center offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services, and is a not for profit member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services. For more information about Southington Care Center, visit http://southingtoncare.org or call 860.621.9559.