Eldergrow is Centerpiece of CMP Grant Awarded to LeadingAge Washington

SEATTLE–Eldergrow, a Seattle-based company which brings nature indoors to elders in senior living communities, is the centerpiece of a Federal Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) grant that has been awarded to LeadingAge Washington.

The initiative, named the GARDEN Project (Garden Access Responds to Diagnosis & Environmental Needs), will reach the needs of elders living in 31 LeadingAge skilled nursing facilities in Washington through indoor therapeutic gardening.

LeadingAge is part of a national association representing the interests of not-for-profit, mission-oriented senior living organizations. Deb Murphy, CEO of LeadingAge Washington had this to say, “Partnering with Eldergrow on the GARDEN Project matches our organization’s commitment to providing our members with the support they need to improve the quality of care and life of their residents.”

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 also includes an Eldergrow Educator who conducts interactive classes and garden maintenance twice a month. The Educator builds relationships with the residents and tracks their wellness goals set forth by the American Horticultural Therapy Association (sensory stimulation, cognitive stimulation, spatial awareness, creative expression, motor skills, and socialization).

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

Eldergrow was built on the belief that having access to nature is essential for an individual’s wellbeing. In senior living communities, it can be difficult for residents to go outside and connect with nature due to a number of concerns; mobility issues, cognitive limitations requiring a secured environment or staff supervision, outdoor space limitations and inclement weather.

According to a University of Washington report, daily gardening can be a preventive measure to help reduce the onset of dementia by 36%. 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 are incredibly honored to partner with LeadingAge,” said Eldergrow Founder Orla Concannon. “They are a highly respected, mission-driven organization, always in the foreground advocating for their members. We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Eldergrow into their communities, and to work alongside their staff and residents!”

The CMP grant is making it possible for LeadingAge and Eldergrow to enhance the lives of hundreds more elders living in skilled nursing facilities. With rollout beginning late summer with Emerald Heights in Redmond, these therapy gardens will surely beat out the seasonal showers for which Washington is famous.