Connected to Nature
Courtesy Crawford Street Place, Texoma County LIVING WELL Magazine
Some believe that nature can be a powerful teacher and healer, improving quality of life. Especially for senior adults who can’t get out and about as they once did. That’s why Kimberly Streun and Betty Stoker, owners of Crawford Street Place Assisted Living in Denison, provide residents with ample outdoor space for walks, gardening and enjoying the sound of birds singing in the trees. And when the weather makes it challenging to be outside, residents can still enjoy the view through many large windows throughout the facility.
While once considered outside the domain of medical science, outdoor space is now considered by many, including hospital architects, as an important consideration to promote an environment conducive to healing. Even a few hours in natural surroundings may, in fact, boost the immune system, according to scientists who study possible therapeutic effects of nature on measurements such as blood pressure and pulse rate. Some researchers claim that after interacting with nature, memory performance and attention spans improve.
For many people outside the scientific arena, statistical evidence isn’t needed.
“Whether actively or passively engaged, being a part of nature can be a healing experience,” says Streun. “There is beauty, excitement, comfort, wonder, and awe for those willing to take time to ‘stop and smell the roses,’ whether in a group, or alone.”
Stoker says that while outdoor activities can reduce stress and improve mood, it can also provide opportunities for exercise, conversation and contemplation. She and Streun, who are both occupational therapists, work to ensure that the grounds of Crawford Street Place are as beautiful as possible in every season.
Residents enjoy a large gated area with big trees, ample seating areas and a gentle, hand-painted water fountain. Being in the garden during days or evenings of great weather can provide a wonderful calming effect. Snacks seem even more enjoyable when eaten outdoors. Residents relish time laughing at the squirrels’ antics, watching the birds and butterflies, and getting an occasional visit from a neighboring cat.
Whether choosing to walk in the sunshine, or finding a shady place to sit, the adventure of being outdoors adds to the home-like setting at Crawford Street Place. “Our exterior areas are designed to promote relaxation and a sense of wellbeing,” says Streun. “No matter what the season, we try to ensure that the view is restorative, whether it’s lush greenery in warm weather or the majesty of bare tree branches in the winter.”
Another benefit of the outdoor space at Crawford Street Place is that residents can observe neighborhood activity in one direction or wooded vistas in another. Each person can choose whether to be an active participant, working with plants in the garden, or a more passive presence, enjoying the smells, sounds and sights.
At Crawford Street Place, the staff works as a team devoted to every aspect of resident care, indoors and out. Their goal is to ensure that residents are safe, that their needs are met, and that they feel comfortable as part of a loving family. Residents come to Crawford Street Place from home or other facilities, where, for a variety of reasons, they could no longer stay.
One of the advantages Crawford Street Place offers to residents and their families is that it is small, developed to ensure an impressive staff-to-resident ratio that allows frequent interaction. The staff work as a team devoted to resident care, with the goal of ensuring that residents are safe, that needs are met, and that they feel comfortable as part of a loving family.
Find out more about Crawford Street Place by calling 903-463-0400. It’s a great place to be, any time of the year.