Garden brightens palliative patients’ last days

Often, it’s the simple things in life that make people smile. 

A newly built garden is turning a once unattractive space into a spectacular garden view for Youville Home palliative residents during their final days.

The idea came from employee Nicole Beaupre, who had a vision to beautify the space immediately outside the palliative room window. With a green thumb and some woodworking skills, Nicole worked to build a garden complete with roses, plants, a wooden trellis, chairs, a bird bath and other amenities replacing a previously dull concrete and rock area. 

“Research shows that there are great spiritual and emotional benefits to looking at and enjoying plants and trees,” says Cecilia Marion, Senior Director, Youville Home. “Plants and trees remind people of the cycle of life and it gives people a sense of peace as they contemplate their final days.”

Along with Nicole’s vision and volunteer time, a $500 donation by the Youville Home Auxiliary and a $1,000 donation by a resident's family member made the garden transformation possible.     

“I do it because I love it and the residents deserve to live somewhere beautiful,” says Nicole.

“Nicole really embodies the values of Covenant Health by being a good steward of resources, and her commitment to Youville really shows in how she supports palliative residents,” says Cecilia.

An added feature includes solar lights, which brighten up the space and are replaced by Christmas lights during the holiday season. The flowers and plants have encouraged birds to visit, build nests and bring the space alive during spring and summer. The result is a view from the palliative room that is peaceful, tranquil and beautiful.

But Nicole’s work isn’t done yet. She has vowed to improve other green spaces, including the back hill facing resident rooms and the cafeteria, and hopes to complete the work during the summer.  


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