Patients and residents of Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation took part in a spirited Senior Olympics. Parker held its first Senior Olympics Games in 2007. These annual games are made possible by Ben Dickstein, the great-grandson of the late Jack Parker, the world-renowned developer and philanthropist after whom the institute was named. The games challenge Parker’s older adult community to keep up their physical and emotional health through planned socialization and friendly competition.
Age and disability were no obstacle for the patients and residents who took part in Parker’s games on Tuesday, July 31. “Their competitive spirit and joy of life was so overwhelming and heartwarming to see,” stated Michael N. Rosenblut, Parker’s president and chief executive officer. “The Olympic Games are all about friendship and fun. Our annual games allow older athletes to pursue their youthful interests, and most residents to just plain have fun helping their teams win,” Rosenblut added.
The audience — patients and residents 63 to 102 years young — applauded as Mr. Rosenblut announced the opening Olympic Torch Lighting Ceremony. Then it was on to the games, including the balloon shave, stack of cups, wheelchair race, potato sack race, beanbag toss, and, last but not least, the basketball toss. There were 35 competitors and 125 participants in the event.
Parker resident Marvin Mosley, age 72, won the first-place trophy in the basketball toss competition.
“This is a tremendous activity that Parker puts on for their residents; so much fun,” he said. Minnie Parker, age 82, took first place in the wheelchair races. “There’s no better way to show respect for seniors than by having an event like this,” said Ms. Parker, who zoomed ahead of the competition!
“Residents become involved in all sorts of activities,” said Kathleen Keegan, director of recreation therapy at Parker. “We offer adults various opportunities to explore new ways of having fun together as a group,” she added. Ms. Keegan ended her afternoon of great activities with an outdoor barbecue for all patients and residents.
Parker Jewish Institute, conveniently located at the Queens-Nassau County border in New Hyde Park, is a leading provider of short-term rehabilitation and long-term care. At the forefront of innovation in patient-centered healthcare and new technology, the institute is also a leader in teaching and geriatric research. Parker Jewish Institute features round-the-clock clinical teams, and is nationally renowned as a skilled nursing facility, as well as a provider of community-based healthcare, social adult day care, home healthcare, and a hospice program.