Retirement community members get hands dirty for safe pandemic activity

Retirement community members get hands dirty for safe pandemic activity

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In the midst of COVID-19 restrictions, people are having to find more activities to do at home. That can be especially difficult at nursing homes and retirement communities where a majority of deaths have been reported in Kentucky.

One retirement community, however, is staying safe, while getting their hands dirty.

When the global health crisis hit, residents at the Masonic Homes turned to gardening to pass the time, but supplies were hard to come by due to increased interest in the activity.

When residents weren’t allowed to leave campus due to coronavirus restrictions, some said they could not even find gardening supplies online.

Fortunately, with help from local partners, they got what they needed, as well as 10 new raised bed gardens to help older gardeners.

Since mid-April, the folks in charge of each individual garden have not only been surviving, but they are thriving.

“I come out here every morning,” resident Paul Jennings said, “but the thing is, it gets you out of your apartment, and that might be the single most healthy thing about this. You think about something, not about what you can’t do, but about what you can do.”

Jennings showed off his dwarf sunflowers and a variety of herbs that he plans to barter for tomatoes that other residents are growing in nearby beds.

Landscape supervisor Suzette White said the new garden beds are helpful to the residents who can’t tend to plants in the ground as easily.

“This was just a fabulous way for them to have an easier way to maintain it,” White said, “but it’s given me as much joy as it’s given them. We’ve had a ball out here.”

White said she’s hopeful to get more beds in the garden in the coming seasons because the waitlist to take over one has gotten a little long.

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