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Holy Spirit plans for courtyard addition

By RENEE WEBB, Globe senior reporter
(Email Renee)

There’s nothing like soaking up a little sunshine while taking in a gorgeous view.

More residents of Holy Spirit Retirement Home in Sioux City will have the chance to do just that once they have a new outdoor courtyard.

According to Leslie Heying, director of development and marketing, Holy Spirit has embarked on a fundraising campaign to raise gifts for the courtyard, which will be located on the second floor of the facility’s new addition.

“We are envisioning an outdoor garden with a lot of potted plants, vibrant flowers and our staff is excited about having gardening areas where our residents can get their hands in the soil to grow tomatoes and other produce,” she said. “Our staff made the comment that residents get excited about being able to grow something for their family and loved ones.”

Along with the flowers, plants and bushes, they plan to incorporate a water fountain.

“We want residents to be able to hear the soothing sounds of the water trickling,” Heying said. “We also want to have an eating area where we envision residents having a nice sit-down meal with their relatives when they come to visit.”

Comfortable benches, she added, will allow residents a chance to relax and reflect in private. The project will also include installation of special flooring that is more durable and safer for the residents.

“There is a lot of research that actually shows there are many physical benefits to having an outdoor area and allowing residents to go out and enjoy it,” Heying said. “Benefits range from better sleep to decreased pain. A lot of studies show that people live longer if they are able to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.”

Along with the physical benefits, she strongly believes there will be great social and emotional benefits to the garden courtyard.

Pat Tomscha, executive director of Holy Spirit, said the new courtyard will provide a great enhancement for second floor residents.

“I think it will be an outdoor space that will be engaging with the residents and family members, an area of retreat for privacy, a meditation area – all within reach of residents who may not get around very well,” he said.
Given that the space is connected to the second floor dining room, even those who might not be able to go outside will be able to view the garden space through the large windows. In fact, windows and entrances will be located on two sides of the courtyard.

“People will be able to view it from two different sides,” Tomscha said. “It will be large enough to have a variety of scenery, some private areas for families to visit. Looking from the second floor dining room, will give such a tremendous view and tremendous sense of the outdoors, peacefulness and serenity.”

Heying said the new courtyard would serve all of the nursing home residents whether they be in the new addition or the south portion of the facility.

She pointed out that they started fundraising for the project in early May.

“We have a goal of $50,000, which will cover some upkeep and maintenance so we can ensure that years from now we will be able to upkeep the plants and furniture,” Heying noted. “Our goal is to raise that early this summer so that we can start the project so residents can enjoy it into the fall.”

Thus far about $20,000 has been raised and once they reach the $30,000 mark, construction can begin.
Heying said they hope family members and friends of current and former residents may consider making a gift.
“Holy Spirit has touched so many lives,” she said. “Completion of the second floor courtyard is just another part of the enhancements we are making to the facility.”

For those who wish to donate, contact Heying at (712) 252-2726 or log onto the facility’s website at holyspiritretirementhome.com for an online giving option.

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