A heavenly way to treat elders

Did you know? SBV is a senior sanctuary
By Paul Viau | Apr 05, 2012
Photo by: Paul Viau AN EDEN ALTERNATIVE MOMENT — Silver Bluff Village has long recognized the therapeutic value of beautiful landscaping. Pictured, from left, are SBV co-owners, Bob and Lisa Leatherwood, with Joseph Cathey of Walnut Creek Landscaping and Nursery. are Bob and Lisa Leatherwood, as they pause to reflect.

With my dog bite behind me, and a new kitten coming onboard, I’m now going to turn to a subject near and dear to my heart — eldercare.

I know a bit about this subject because I worked (during my advertising days) on the Life Care Services account. Also, my wife owned and operated a homecare business in Miami. Furthermore, a few years back at a Grateful Dead concert, I was stunned, but honored, when a young lady (trying to thank me for helping her to her seat) said, “We respect our Elder-Heads.”

It was a sobering moment, but it reminded me that none of us (myself incuded) are getting any younger.

That being said, it gives me great peace to know that just a few minutes away, is a place that truly respects elders — Silver Bluff Village.

Did you know? Silver Bluff Village practices what is called “The Eden Alternative” to retirement living, based on the core belief that aging should be a continued time of growth and development — not a period of decline.

And if you’ve ever walked the grounds of SBV, it feels more like a Garden of Eden than an “old folks home.” This didn’t happen on its own, rather it was the vision of SBV owners Bob and Lisa Leatherwood, together with the hard work of local landscaper-turned-friend Joseph Cathey, owner of Walnut Cove Landscaping and Nursery.

The Catheys and the Leatherwoods have been working together on Silver Bluff Village for 17 years, turning the grounds into a true Eden alternative.

Inside and out, you’ll find plants adding to the taste and texture of life.

For example, look closely as you park you car near the entrance to SBV. You’ll find an abundance of strawberries used as ground cover. Later this spring, when they flower, they’ll be used for elder group activities, individual physical therapy and a tasty dessert for all at suppertime.

Similarly, you’ll find blueberry bushes, both high- and low-growing, outside many of the residents’ rooms. They’re pretty to look at, and great activity when the berries are ripe for pickin'.

In another area of the SBV grounds there are an abundance of yellow and black raspberries, and coming soon — straight from Viau family garden stock — red raspberries will join the mix.

And what Garden of Eden would be complete without apples? You’ll find several red and golden delicious apple trees throughout the SBV grounds.

Also in the works at SBV is a community vegetable garden, where residents (many who have farmed all their lives) can continue to grow older with more of a sense of purpose.

Thanks to Joseph Cathey and company, Silver Bluff Village is also practicing a Garden of  … Eating … approach to landscaping. And at Walnut Cove Landscaping & Nursery, you can also get in the act with some of the nicest blueberry bushes available, and a whole lot more.

The nursery is located at 575 Walnut Cove Road  — off Raccoon Road, just south of the Ag Center. You can also connect with Joseph and Tara Cathey at the upcoming Whole Bloomin’ Thing, May 12, in Frog Level. Or call 452-7526.

For more information about Silver Bluff Village and their Garden of Eden approach to eldercare, call Bob Leatherwood at 648-2044.