Posted: December 7, 2023
Though the temperatures along the Colorado Front Range have dropped and the sun sets well before 5pm, the growing season has only just begun at The Suites at Someren Glen skilled nursing and memory support neighborhood. Our flourishing community was recently gifted a horticultural therapy garden from Eldergrow® through the legacy of former Christian Living Communities residents and supporters, Gil and Jeanette Deters.
Our new garden from Eldergrow’s Therapeutic Horticulture Program brings nature indoors. It is thoughtfully designed for older adults living in skilled nursing and memory care communities like Someren Glen. The accessible, sustainable, and mobile garden includes a variety of eye-catching and beautifully fragrant plants, providing the kind of sensory experience that can only come from time spent among nature.
With the support and expertise of Eldergrow educators, Someren Glen residents planted their garden in September and have since enjoyed the connection, calm, and happiness that comes with nurturing a garden. “Teaming with Eldergrow increases residents’ ability to interact with nature throughout the year, providing a hands-on experience to care for and learn from the Eldergrow garden,” shares Steve DeBelle, Executive Director at Someren Glen.
Every two weeks, Eldergrow educators visit our community to teach classes and support residents as they connect with the plants’ multi-sensory characteristics, learn garden care, and maintain the health and growth of the garden. DeBelle is already seeing the impacts of the garden, sharing, “The residents love it. They are very engaged in caring for the garden. It was a wonderful addition to our community.”
For one of the garden’s caretakers, Someren Glen resident Shirl, the new garden brought back dear memories of her grandmother, who grew and tended roses. “The plants give back so much to us”, she expressed. “I feel so proud of this garden!”
In addition to the joy and delight already being felt from tending the Eldergrow garden, its potential long-term benefits for Someren Glen’s residents are significant. Studies indicate that therapeutic horticulture can reduce depression, improve balance, and lower risk factors for dementia. According to the Mather Institute, an organization focused on aging services research, a review of 20 years of research studying the impacts of indoor nature interventions in residential care environments showed that the positive outcomes of active interventions – such as those provided through Eldergrow’s Therapeutic Horticulture Program – “included improved psychological well-being, life satisfaction, social well-being, engagement, and quality of life.”
As a neighborhood of Christian Living Communities, a nonprofit organization with a mission of enriching the lives of older adults, Someren Glen is a creation and expression of the exceptional residents who call our community home – and those who have come before them, such as Gil and Jeanette Deters. The CLC community held a great significance to the Deters, who planned for their love and caring to extend to this community beyond their lifetimes.
This is the 16th year that the Deters’ gift has enriched the lives of residents at The Suites at Someren Glen. Their legacy lives on in the hearts of the many older adults and families who have been impacted by their generosity. Someren Glen can strive for and sustain our vision, mission, and values because of the investment of donor support. Learn more about supporting Someren Glen and other CLC communities at www.christianlivingcommunities.org/support-our-mission.