Mrs. Patty started coming to the Williams Adult Day Center last year, following the loss of her husband and after moving in with her daughter. With shaky hands and a crushed spirit, Patty thought there wasn’t much she could do except wait to rejoin him. Annie, an Occupational Therapy student interning at the Williams Center shares, “when I first started working with Patty she didn’t seem to have interest in anything.”
Annie learned that Patty used to enjoy painting and taking care of her flowers and shrubs many years ago. The two began talking about planting flowers and painting pots to put them in. Over time, Patty warmed up to the idea and chose what colors to paint the pots (red, white, and blue), and what types of flowers she wanted to plant – petunias and a begonia.
At first, Patty said, “I can’t bend over to plant those flowers,” but staff helped her figure out how to work in the garden while sitting in the outdoor rocking chairs. Soon, Patty was excitedly suggesting they expand the garden to include tomatoes, red peppers, and cucumbers; which, of course, they did. The tomato “tree” (as Patty calls it) brings back fond memories for her of eating cherry tomatoes right off the vine.
As time passed, Patty came to look forward to checking on and caring for the plants. She helped water them, add plant food, place cages and stakes and took pride in how they were growing. As Annie’s twelve weeks at the Williams Center came to an end she noticed a profound change in Patty, “her focus had shifted away from her losses and more to tending and caring for the garden.” Now, sitting out in the rocking chair each afternoon, marveling at how tall the tomato “tree” looks in the sunshine puts a smile on Patty’s face – she has found a renewed sense of purpose at the Williams Adult Day Center!