Silver Chain client Vince’s life was turned around, all thanks to a garden and one determined Silver Chain Care Aide, Tracy Pavlovich. Tracy shares the story…
A broken man
When the beloved wife of my client, Vince, passed away, he found it very difficult to cope. Living alone in the same house they shared together, he was, in his own words, ‘dying of a broken heart’.
Vince has struggled with various health issues. He has some vision impairment, heart issues, hip problems and early stages of dementia. When he could no longer drive, Vince became very isolated. He was lonely and bored, with Silver Chain often his only visitors for the week.
I began to chat to Vince about things he used to do. His eyes lit up as he told me about his love for gardening. He said he was deeply saddened to see his garden overrun with weeds, looking uncared for, abandoned and unloved.
The project begins
I asked Vince if I could help him start a little garden project. He was resistant at first but I eventually convinced Vince and we agreed to begin the project together.
We started by setting up a potting table and together we made hanging baskets. Next, we cleared the garden beds, turning one into a geranium garden and the other into a cottage garden. I then suggested we trial a raised garden bed as a veggie patch. It was a hit with Vince; he loved it so much that we built another two.
A changed man and a blossomed friendship
"I want to thank my darling Tracy from Silver Chain for all her hard work helping me make a beautiful garden. I'll soon have a mini market garden and be able to give lots of vegetables away to my friends and family. I love my new garden so much," Vince said.
When we began this project, it was all about how I could help Vince find some meaning and relieve some boredom, but we have developed a great friendship.
So, where to from here? I’ve told Vince not to get too complacent, as I’m already eyeing off the next garden bed we can start on!