Winona Elks Gratitude Grant improves memory-care garden

Mike Curran, Winona Elks Lodge #327 (left) presents a $2,500 Gratitude Grant to Gina Mcrae, Winona Health Memory Care supervisor, Adith Miller and Metz Manors along with Dick Ledebuhr, past state Elks president, and Betsy Midthun, vice president of Community Engagement at Winona Health.

Gardens are healing places, but for dementia or Alzheimer’s patients, they can also provide soothing and sensory experiences that improve their overall wellbeing.

With a donation of $2,500, the Winona Elks Lodge #327 will help residents reminisce and relive their gardening and outdoor experiences. The funding, a ‘Gratitude Grant,’ derives from the Elks National Foundation. “We have a special interest in helping people with dementia,” said Mike Curran, Elks Lodge #327 Exulted Ruler. “The Winona Elks members are pleased to provide assistance to this very worthy project.”

According to Cheryl Krage, director of Winona Health Assisted Living and Hospice, a garden space has benefitted residents for many years by giving them a secured area to enjoy the outdoors. However, the staff was seeking new opportunities to update, enhance and improve the shared garden area, making it more resident-centered. The grant will provide financial assistance for raised flower and vegetable beds, safe walking paths, and the development of areas that increase sensory stimulation.

“Offering a safe outdoor space for our memory care residents gives them opportunities to

remain active and engaged outside,” said Krage. “Our renovated garden area will offer an additional space for families to walk and sit with their loved one and reminisce about memories of planting, gardening and nature.”

Additional funding for this project will come from charitable proceeds raised through Winona Health Volunteer fundraising projects in 2017.

For more information about Adith Miller and Roger Metz Manors, call Cheryl Krage at 507.494.7496.

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