Each year the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America awards a $25,000 grant to a nonprofit organization to help fund new programs or services within the community. To be considered for the Brodsky Innovation Grant the proposed program must seek to improve the lives of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. It must also demonstrate creativity and uniqueness, fulfill a great need in the community, and demonstrate the potential to be replicated.
In 2018 Thelma’s Place in Canby, Oregon, received this grant to create The Garden of Life, an Intergenerational Sensory Garden. This garden has been designed to create an enriching, educational environment for both individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and pre-school aged children.
Gardens provide safe opportunities for interaction and relaxation between seniors and children. The intergenerational Sensory Garden at Thelma’s Place is an interactive experience that allows those with Alzheimer’s disease and children to stimulate their minds together, be creative and have fun. Having a space like this available allows individuals with Alzheimer’s disease to feel empowered, improve self-esteem and positively impact their overall well-being.
Those who visit the Sensory Garden can experience increased connectedness, renewed purpose for living, enhanced feelings of self worth, improved behaviors, an opportunity to laugh and the unconditional love with children who are in need of an enhanced sense of belonging, empathy and development.
The Garden of Life is comprised of different stations that are each intended to produce various results. Stations include a Sound Garden, Exploration Garden, Tasting Garden, and an Observation Garden. These stations allow for creative expression, stress release, imagination and much more.
Thelma’s place is a non-profit organization in the community that provides breaks for caregivers to re-energize while their loved one visits the day center to participate in daily activities that are specially designed for those with memory loss. Day trips and activities such as visiting places within the community and nearby areas are also planned for those who attend the day center. Whether a person has just been diagnosed with a memory condition, is coping with Alzheimer’ daily, or experiencing memory problems of any kind; all are welcome at Thelma’s Place.
Caregivers are able to take time for themselves and also attend support groups and education related to being a caregiver, while their loved ones participate and enjoy the daily activities that Thelma’s Place has to offer.
Here is a great video about Thelma’s Place!