Sunday Strolls

Once-a-month, April – October, enjoy wheelchair-accessible gardens. Picnicking welcome (carry-in, carry-out).

A wheelchair-accessible picnic table & port-a-potty is available, thanks to funding from MA State Department of Developmental Services.

SEE YOU IN THE SPRING!

Who We Serve at Sunday Strolls:

  1. Wheelchair-users who function independently or with a care-partner; Guests who require personal assistance must bring a care-partner; we are unable to provide direct care or supervision of guests.

Cost: Free-of-charge. Your contribution helps us to cover our costs.

Reservation Required. Contact Mary at mary@marymacmissions.com or 978-887-4202 to RSVP or for more information. Please note that an RSVP is required as this is a private home and parking is limited to 10 cars/vans.
The RIDE may be an option for those without cars or wheelchair-vans, who live locally North of Boston.

Hosting Small Groups with Special Needs since 2011
We welcome small groups coming from group homes (i.e. our friends from the NE-ARC), dementia-care assisted living programs, and long-term-care (skilled nursing) facilities. We require an RSVP from small group leaders prior to a group visit. We recommend an on-site visit prior to bringing a group.

Small Group Leaders: Please View/Download: Recommendations for Small Group Leaders @ Topsfield Memory Café

Voices from Our Community

Karl, Pedro and Darcy in the Cedar Grove and Tunnel

Karl, Pedro and Darcy in the Cedar Grove and Tunnel, 10/11/15

Mary and Karl provide a completely restful, peaceful and re-energizing experience for persons with memory-loss and their caregiver(s). Their hard work at making the gardens accessible for persons in wheelchairs is so appreciated. Their kindness shown to my Dad and to me is such necessary nourishment!

What a gift it is to be able to enjoy such exquisite surroundings with the peace of mind that my Dad is safe, and is also enjoying Mary and Karl’s garden. What a treasure being able to be in nature, admiring its magnificence, while having your loved one be safe and fully involved in the beauty of their gardens. The amount of work, the love they have for persons with memory loss and the devotion to their hobby is blatantly evident!

Weeks later, I’m still basking in the glow of sitting in your gardens. Just to sit on a bench! It was such a lovely respite for us… I find myself often revisiting that experience in my mind and in my heart!

– Darcy Morales-Zullo, of West Newton, MA

Laura, Joyce, and Lynne Enjoy a Respite Outing

Laura, Joyce, and Lynne Enjoy a Respite Outing, 7/23/14

Who would have thought that just 1 hour in a lovely garden made for Joyce to travel in her wheelchair around a .1 mile trail would be so profound! The view of the garden and the simple conversation was so relaxing.  I could have sat there all day!

After 10+ years of maintaining a life with early onset dementia, Joyce was more alert than I have seen her in very long time. What a joy to see her enjoy the garden and our company. Thank you for the wonderful tour of your garden and for including Joyce in every bit of the discussion of our tour.  You even sang her a wonderful song that she knows from her many years of playing guitar, piano and trombone.  You really had her attention when you sang that lovely song so spontaneously! After you invited us to sit and enjoy some ice water in the shade of the cedar trees and sign your guest book we had the great delight of seeing Joyce take the pen and make her own mark in the book as well!

Still now, after three days of journeying over to your garden, the whole experience brings such tears of happiness to my eyes.  To have seen for myself my Mother-in-law be so happy, so relaxed, reaching out from inside her self and sharing with us the respite in your lovely gardens was a miracle and a wish come true!

You see,  it is with such difficulty that I often think, what is it that I could do or give to someone with her unique struggles that would have some meaning to her.  Give back to her all that she needs that isn’t care taking her for food or other necessities alone.  How to simply give something back to her and enter in to her world, at her level of need.  Just be in her day.  Allow her peace in her mind.  Allow her freedom from dealing with her life so dependent on others.  Take away the isolation from the judgement that she “isn’t there.”

I never thought I would find a place for Joyce like REST. STOP. RANCH.  An outdoor garden path accessible to wheelchairs and specifically for persons with late stage memory loss and their caretakers to stroll together.  Are you kidding me?!  A destination outdoors provided for by such genuine, caring, smart, thoughtful people with such natural beauty all around.  A place where she can simply be and reap the benefits nature provides.   Really?!  To sit amongst friends as peers.  Now,  come on?!  But it’s true!  It does exist!

Joyce has always loved being in nature whether traveling, skiing, hiking, swimming or singing around a campfire.   To see her actually respond to nature again, well, that was indeed priceless!  Thank you, thank you, thank you x 1,000,000!

Much love and light, 
Lynne

– Lynne Marchetti of Topsfield, MA

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