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SEATTLE—Through grant funding from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), seven Washington skilled nursing facilities will receive two Eldergrow indoor therapeutic sensory gardens each, along with Eldergrow’s innovative therapeutic horticulture program.

Eldergrow, an award-winning Seattle-based company, offers therapeutic gardening programs to seniors in residential and skilled communities. With this new partnership, residents at Lake Ridge Center and Columbia Crest Center in Moses Lake, Orchard Park in Tacoma, Ballard Center in Seattle, Montesano Healthcare & Rehab in Montesano, Linden Grove Center in Puyallup, and Everett Center in Everett are now able to nurture a lush indoor garden from the safety of their community.

Eldergrow’s Therapeutic Horticulture Program includes an indoor, mobile garden filled with fragrant and colorful plants that provide sensory stimulation and reminiscing opportunities for residents. The program includes an Eldergrow Educator who conducts interactive classes and garden maintenance twice a month.

The indoor gardens are constructed in partnership with a job training program which employs and trains veterans and adults living with disabilities. The gardens include a custom grow light and wheels that mobilize the garden.

“We are incredibly honored to partner with these communities,” said Eldergrow founder Orla Concannon. “They uniquely care for their residents and see the healing benefits of nature.”

According to a University of Washington report, daily gardening can be a preventive measure to help reduce the onset of dementia by 36 percent. For those living with some form of dementia, access to gardens helps reduce agitation and injuries, while improving mood and sleep. In response to these findings, Eldergrow’s innovative indoor gardening programs were created.

“We’re so excited to bring Eldergrow’s meaningful engagement to our residents,” says Bonnie Jacobs, CTRS vice-president of recreation and life enrichment for the communities. “Especially now, when it is increasingly difficult to safely get outdoors. We’re bringing the outdoors inside!”

About Eldergrow

Eldergrow, a Seattle-based company, brings nature indoors to elders living in senior living and nursing care settings through therapeutic gardening programs. Founded in 2015 by founder Orla Concannon, Eldergrow offers innovative indoor programs and new COVID-specific activity kits. The DIY Culinary Herb Garden is complemented by an Herb of the Month program, and the Therapeutic Horticulture Garden program is a hands-on wellness program facilitated by onsite Educators who teach therapeutic gardening classes and provide garden maintenance. Each of the programs are centered around indoor, mobile gardens which are handcrafted in Washington by veterans and adults living with disabilities. The two new COVID-specific kits, the outdoor Farm-to-Fork Kit and the 5 Senses Kit, are made for safe and meaningful sensory stimulation. For more information, visit Eldergrow.org.

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