Several years ago, a family member suggested that Island Nursing and Rehab Center develop a Garden for the Residents since his mother was an avid gardener when she was home. This concept led to the several fund raising campaigns and the development of the Garden of Hope. This Garden is a Therapeutic garden that helps the residents remain connected with nature, provide benefits for a wide variety of residents who are ill and/or recovering from illness. The garden is used to help residents who are recovering from surgery, for those who are undergoing physical rehabilitation and for residents with Alzheimer’s disease.

Research indicates that physical as well as visual access to nature helps people recover from illness quicker, reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. Spending time outside helps a person maintain the sleep/wake cycle. There is also natural absorption of Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight for brief periods of time, which is important for maintaining strong bones. Gardening and bird watching are very popular activities for people of all ages. Watching a sunset, smelling the flowers and listening to the sounds of water cascading in a fountain are all wonderful ways to excite the senses in a positive way. These activities are very important because they help a person remain connected to the world around them. It is important for a person with Alzheimer’s to be able to continue enjoying the outdoor activities they have enjoyed throughout their lives. The quality of life is very important to the philosophy of our institution and it is for this reason that Island Nursing and Rehab Center has developed the Garden of Hope.

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