The Garden was originally designed with a focus on dementia - strengthening the mind. Circular pathways ensure those visiting the garden don't get lost, elements like a Vintage Truck, a wind mill and a water pump can stimulate memory enhancement.
Amy Thiesse, Director of Nursing, explains, “It was originally designed four our dementia unit but also recognizing that with our connecting hospital and our huge out patients therapy department to really bring everybody into this Garden.”
It's called the healing garden because it truly does just that, especially for patient Carolyn Knapp.
“I think it's a wonderful addition to the hospital and nursing home,” says Knapp.
Knapp has multiple sclerosis, and has been a patient in Vermillion off and on for 6 weeks. She considers this garden her home away from home - and all the while she's getting stronger.
“That's one of the benefits of the healing garden. Getting a chance for the body to develop as well as the mind and the soul - it does all of those things.”
Knapp says spending time in the Healing Garden takes her mind off of her health. And thanks to doctors orders, she'll be out here more often.
Community Donations, grants from the Dakota Hospital Foundation, and students at SDSU helped to complete the Healing Garden.
The Healing Garden has been a vision since 2004, but now it's a place for therapy - mentally and physically - that can get patients on their road to recovery.