Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation has established a new “Eldergrow” Garden Program, providing year-round horticultural therapy to enhance quality of life for patients and residents.

Due to the huge public interest, a Project Demonstration Day will be held June 7 to give media and families of Parker patients and residents a chance to observe the program in action. This program at Parker is the first of its kind in New York State.

“We’re excited about our new horticultural therapy program, which promotes the stimulation of body, mind and spirit,” said Michael N. Rosenblut, Parker’s president and CEO. “Patients and residents take pride in growing a variety of plants and herbs with their own hands, and enjoy the results of their labor through ongoing culinary harvest and garden art classes,” he said. (The herbs include basil, lavender, oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc. All are great for salads and have anti-inflammatory benefits.)

Eldergrow™, an award-winning Seattle-based company, offers older adults in senior residences and skilled nursing facilities a therapeutic connection to nature through their innovative garden products and programming. According to Eldergrow™, studies prove horticultural therapy reduces depression, enhances mood and sleep, improves coordination and self-esteem, and lowers the risk factors for dementia by 36 percent.

Through discussions with their new partner, Parker executives learned about the proven benefits of therapeutic horticulture. Parker’s administration realized that connecting their older adults with the healing properties of nature would be beneficial. This project provides opportunities for sensory stimulation and creative expression, while affording patients and residents a new sense of purpose as they go about caring for their garden.

Parker Jewish Institute is located at 271-11 76th Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11040. Call 718-289‐2212 to learn more. n


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