Spring at Fieldstone Communities: The Uplifting Nature of Nature

Lifeloop 06 05 2020

Fieldstone Communities was created with a mission to create environments full of joy, connection, and community. As a child, co-founder Doug Ellison visited nursing homes with his father, who was a doctor. Witnessing his father's compassion for his patients and the often bleak surroundings in some of the homes instilled a desire in Doug to care for people as his dad did while creating joyful and vibrant living environments for aging people. Fieldstone was born out of this desire. Every element of a community is considered carefully with a lens that is mindful of the everyday experiences of our residents. After all, our days and our lives are made up of small moments.

Our outdoor areas are intentionally designed as an extension of the indoor spaces. Courtyards, pathways, gardens, patios, and large windows all aim to encourage time in nature so that residents can enjoy the full measure of all the outdoors have to offer. Our outdoor spaces are developed for vivid and fragrant plantings, optimal sun and shade, walking paths for peaceful solitude, and gathering spaces for relaxed get-togethers.

Jeff Glander, Professional Landscape Architect (PLA) of SCJ Alliance, designed Fieldstone Olympia's outdoor spaces. Jeff was recently interviewed in Thurston Talk and described his design at Fieldstone Communities. He explains, “There is art and science to planning the outdoor environment.” Jeff considers everything from the afternoon sun to the patterns of flowering plants to create a landscape that fully engages the senses. At Fieldstone, we believe landscape architecture should combine both art and science in a creative, functional way. It is deeply gratifying to see outdoor spaces fulfilling their purpose—to elevate the quality of life of all who live here.

Already this spring, residents have been getting garden boxes ready, having barbecues, playing games like Jenga and dominoes out in the sunshine, visiting on the patio sipping coffee, and even enjoying live harp music!

In the interview linked above, Jeff Glander further describes the intentions in the outdoor design to invite connection:

“Senior housing projects are fun,” says Jeff. “My father-in-law lives in the independent living section of Fieldstone.” It includes a small putting green and raised beds for community gardening.

In memory care, there's a large, secure courtyard between the two wings that is accessible to all the residents all the time. Residents can go outside in warmer weather to sit while soaking up the scenery that includes a wide variety of plants and flowering shrubs. They admire the water feature, and the vegetation changes continually through the season and always offers something new. There is seasonal interest and even fragrances to engage more senses. Those in wheelchairs can be pushed around the paved paths and get up close to the flowers. Many rooms face this park-like setting, which is an added benefit. Much thought and attention go into the planning of shared spaces like this.

Studies show that spending as little as 20 minutes in nature can have significant effects, reducing stress as well as symptoms of depression and anxiety. When our bodies are calm and at ease, our systems function better. From the immune system to our cardiovascular system, we operate at our best when we feel soothed and relaxed. That's why to uniquely support memory care residents, Fieldstone Communities has created secure, outdoor courtyards where residents are invited to connect with nature, enjoy reduced stress levels, and experience calmness of mind.

If you have gone on a walk to reset your mood or experienced the restorative power of sun and wind on your cheeks, you know the benefits of spending time in nature. If you haven't yet enjoyed birdsong this spring or studied a new unfurling leaf, we encourage you to take a few moments in the natural world. The benefits are ready and waiting for you.

This spring, as vibrant flowers bloom, clouds sweep across blue skies, and birds sing at Fieldstone Communities, we invite you to come tour a community near you to experience the well-laid plans, both indoors and outdoors. Many Fieldstone campuses include independent and assisted living as well as memory care—so residents have the support they need at their fingertips, all at their own pace. Discover for yourself how it feels to be here, in joyful and vibrant senior living.

Connect today and schedule a tour.