Patients and Residents of Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation recently 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 the Institute was named after. 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 last Tuesday.
“Their competitive spirit and joy of life was so overwhelming and heartwarming to see,” said 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.”
The audience—patients and residents 63 to 102 years young—applauded as 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’s 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 then by having an event like this,” said 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.”
The afternoon of great activities concluded with an outdoor barbecue for all patients and residents.
Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation is located at 271-11 76th Ave., New Hyde Park, NY. For more information, call 718-289-2212.
—Submitted by Parker