Since 1951, Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS) has worked to improve the lives of older adults through innovative, quality senior living communities and through community services to older adults. The history of the Episcopal Church Home in Louisville reaches even further back, to the 1800's when the Church Home and Infirmary was established. It was later replaced by the present Episcopal Church Home in Louisville.
In 2017, through a First Christian Church of Louisville Wholeness Ministry Grant, a sensory garden was created at the Episcopal Church Home Memory Care and Marmion Neighborhoods. The garden was a huge success!
Part of this project involved farm educators from the Kentucky State Reformatory Horticulture Club teaching the residents in the nursing home how to plant seeds to start plants of various kinds. The residents then explored plants using their five senses and decided which plants they wanted in their garden. Lastly, the educators helped the resident get started planting their sensory garden. The residents very much enjoyed watching the plants grow and people tending to the garden. They enjoyed exploring the plants outside with their families, and when the time came to harvest their crop, they made pesto from basil in their garden and enjoyed both making it and eating it on crackers.
This year, in 2018, with additional funds from another Wholeness Ministry Grant, the farm educators returned to lead the planting activity again! Peppers and cucumbers were the stars of this year’s garden and the educators built on what had been discussed the previous year, teaching the residents about how the plants mature and grow. Additional items, including shade umbrellas and storage shed for the gardening tools and supplies were purchased to provide comfort and ease of use to the residents. Chrysanthemums and zinnias were planted in stands near the windows so that residents could appreciate the garden even while indoors. This ministry has allowed Episcopal Church Home residents to enjoy nature and stay involved in an ongoing project. In their July 2018 Newsletter, Episcopal Church home staff reported "[The residents] enjoy watering and watching the garden grow. They get so much pleasure from something so simple"
The wholeness grant used to fund this ministry was made possible through your faithful financial support of our church and its ministries and help fund a variety of efforts to make our world a better place.