King Adult Day Enrichment Program of the Rocky Mountain MS Center
The mission of the Rocky Mountain Ms center is to improve the lives of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and their families through care, support, education and research. The King Adult Day Enrichment is a key element of this comprehensive approach.
KADEP serves 60 clients on a typical day. Most of the population struggles with MS (multiple sclerosis) but clients with neurological challenges similar to MS also attend. Although MS has no “typical” set of symptoms, clients at KADEP often face emotional and cognitive deficits in addition to physical limitations. KADEP offers an enriching experience during the day when family caregivers are at work. Clients appreciate the social interaction, the educational options, the field trips and the many other fun opportunities, including gardening, which KADEP provides.
Research shows that time outside serves as a vital component of a comprehensive therapeutic program for people with cognitive and physical challenges. At KADEP, clients plant flowers and vegetables in accessible planters each spring. Specially adapted tools, often with easy-to-grip handles make both planting and maintenance easier while providing beneficial exercise. Outdoor lunches are a relaxing social time for MS patients with limited mobility and social outlets. Clients even experience better sleep resulting from exposure to full spectrum sunlight and fresh air!
The current KADEP Garden, designed by Ivy Street Design and built in 1995, includes a deck shaded by a honey locust tree, accessible planting boxes, and a wide, gently graded path that leads to additional accessible gardens and a softly splashing waterfall. Permanent plantings include easy to- care for shrubs that are colorful and fragrant. The garden was installed as a cooperative effort between professional contractors and Boy Scout volunteers.
“The garden is an integral part of our program, it is a gathering place for therapy groups, socializing and just enjoying being outdoors. KADEP would be a very different place without our garden; we would miss it immensely.” explains Donna Lozano, KADEP Internship Coordinator and Garden Coordinator.
The new KADEP facility will offer all of this in the first phase north garden terrace. As funding permits, additional facilities will be developed over the 4.5 acre campus; converting an existing school yard into a model site of accessibility, sustainability and community involvement. The 4.5 acre site will incorporate ball fields for the neighborhood, low water native prairie meadows, wheel chair friendly paths, patios and gardens and eventually a therapeutic pool. Ivy Street Design is honored to help bring joy to MS patients, their families and friends by donating design services to this effort.
We dedicate our work to the memory of Richard Booth (1959-2009). Throughout his too-short life, despite the challenges of MS, Rich loved the outdoors, hiking in the mountains, coaching little kids playing soccer, but especially taking care of our garden at 2249 Ivy Street in Denver. Although we’ve lost Rich, trees, shrubs, countless perennials and a compost full of fat worms lives on because of his tender care. Do you want to know more about the Rocky Mountain MS Center and/or KADEP? Visit their website @ http://www.mscenter.org/, the KADEP blog at http://www.adventuresatkadep.blogspot.com/