Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation hosted Grandparents’ Day on Sunday, Sept. 17, a gala event that honors the contributions of older adults from Queens and Long Island. Grandparents’ Day, a national holiday and annual tradition at Parker Jewish Institute, gives family and friends an opportunity to visit and enjoy a special day.
Parker Jewish Institute has been holding a Grandparents’ Day celebration for over a decade, surprising all who attend with new activities and games added each year.
“This is an annual event that everyone at Parker looks forward to—the residents, patients as well as the community. We capture the thrill of a carnival, as well as the joy that can be had at any age,” said Michael N. Rosenblut, president and CEO at Parker.
Lina Scacco, assistant vice president of corporate outreach and development added, “We support the concept of ‘healthy aging’ and that means having fun and staying connected socially, enjoying time with family and friends—we accomplish this with the creative and heartwarming events that our renowned Therapeutic Recreation Department creates for all to enjoy.”
Approximately 200 Parker residents, family and friends enjoyed the many festivities at this year’s event, which included a clown, a man on stilts, face-painting, corn dogs and cotton candy, photo booth, bounce house, live music, a petting zoo and even a psychic.
“We always try to find interesting games for the kids, things that the residents can participate in,” said Kathleen Keegan, director of therapeutic recreation. “What really thrills our residents is the petting zoo, which is such a treat for all ages. When our residents see farm animals coming in, they love it. And, they love seeing the kids that come to this event, their smiling faces bring such joy to all—the cotton candy doesn’t hurt either.”
Grandparents’ Day, proclaimed a national holiday in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter, is celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day. It was the brainchild of Marian McQuade, who was the vice-chair of the West Virginia Commission on Aging and delegate to the White House Conference on Aging.
Like McQuade, Michael N. Rosenblut hopes that the many grandchildren who attended can learn from the insight and traditions their grandparents provide at the Grandparents’ Day event.
“It’s very important to us at Parker to celebrate the past and the future of our residents,” Rosenblut said.