Left to right: Nicole Encarnacion, Ruthie Shugarman and Lisa Ford. (photo from Louis Brier Home and Hospital)
This summer, the Louis Brier Home and Hospital celebrated the transformation of part of its outdoor space into a place of beauty and quiet.
On the morning of June 30, the wider community came out to support the Louis Brier Home and Hospital’s community of residents living with dementia. The special care unit, which is home for 17 residents who live with severe dementia, has its own outdoor space for the residents and their families. Dubbed the “secret garden,” this space has been tended by residents’ families and, now, thanks to the vision and support of local realtor Ruthie Shugarman, it received a major overhaul.
The project was spearheaded by former master gardener Lisa Ford, who visits her mother, Laura Ford, a five-year resident of Louis Brier, several times a week. Since her mother moved into the special care unit two-and-a-half years ago, Ford has been planting and caring for the space. With Shugarman’s help, the private courtyard has become a welcoming space for families to spend time together with dementia-friendly design components recommended by the Louis Brier’s nursing lead, Nicole Encarnacion.
Just prior to the June 30 gathering at the Brier, the Government of Canada announced its National Dementia Strategy: canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/dementia-strategy.html.