To preserve the legacy of hope, power of healing and love for life exhibited by Barrick and Kristi Wilson, a healing garden is being built at Newton Medical Center. You can help make this fitting tribute a reality.
Newton Medical Center is home to the Generations Unit, a 12-bed unit specially designed to evaluate and treat mental illnesses associated with aging like Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Our Generations Unit provides a home-like environment in which people can work on mental health issues and socialization.
While our Generations Unit includes features such as private rooms and bathroom, certified animal-assisted therapy and is a Music & Memory Certified Facility, it currently lacks a secure area where patients may enjoy time outdoors. Research shows that being outdoors can benefit those with dementia by improving emotional state, physical health, memory and attention. It can also foster an improved sense of independence, self-esteem and belonging.
As part of our commitment to providing excellent care centered on the individual needs of each patient and their families, our vision is to create a private garden area for those in our Generations Unit.
The total investment of this project is estimated at $127,000. We’ve received a generous donation from Barrick and Kristi Wilson to be used as a matching gift for funds raised for this important project. With their initial gift of $25,000 and gifts from other generous donors, our goal is to raise an additional $12,269 to make this vision a reality.
Highlights of the Healing Garden:
- An opportunity to engage the senses. This area allows patients to enjoy the outdoors and activate the sense of touch through a variety of textures in the plants and soil.
- Encourages exercise and movement. This unique garden area includes a planting bed in the center of the space, creating a natural circular walkway for patients to utilize.
- A gathering space for friends and family. With benches and a picnic table, the garden area is an ideal place for friends and family to visit loved ones or enjoy a meal together.
- Specially designed for patient safety. Featuring wide walkways, tall garden walls, safe plants and shade coverings to protect delicate skin, the garden allows patients to safely and independently enjoy the outdoors while providing nursing staff with an unobstructed view to monitor patients at all times.
A classic Midwest love story, Barrick and Kristi met as teenagers and reunited after college. Opposites attracted as Barrick, a radio and band personality, fell hopelessly in love with the more conservative and reserved Kristi. The two married in 1967, then made their home in Wichita, where they raised two sons, Jeff and Bryan.
Barrick and Kristi dreamt of growing old together, traveling and enjoying retirement. But in her late 40s, Kristi began developing signs of dementia. Eventually, she was unable to remember her life with Barrick and their family. Barrick faithfully cared for Kristi for as long as possible until moving her to NMC’s Generations Unit and then to a permanent care home. After a life of nearly 50 years together, the two are remembered fondly for the love they shared and the many lives they touched.
Donations can be made online or mailed to the hospital at PO Box 308, Attn: Development Office. All donations are tax deductible.