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Germinating Partnerships: Connecting Seniors to Community Gardens G. Raechel Hammer Vice President, Development & Compliance Klein & Stiffel JCCs February.

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Presentation on theme: "Germinating Partnerships: Connecting Seniors to Community Gardens G. Raechel Hammer Vice President, Development & Compliance Klein & Stiffel JCCs February."— Presentation transcript:

1 Germinating Partnerships: Connecting Seniors to Community Gardens G. Raechel Hammer Vice President, Development & Compliance Klein & Stiffel JCCs February 1, 2011

2 Aging in Philadelphia Exponential Increase of Older Adults Exponential Increase of Older Adults - 37 million Older Adults in America in million (est.) Older Adults in America in million (est.) Older Adults in America in 2030 Philadelphia has the largest proportion of elderly of the ten largest cities in the country Philadelphia has the largest proportion of elderly of the ten largest cities in the country % of people older than 60 years of age 251,000 older Philadelphians (60+) 251,000 older Philadelphians (60+) - 55% foreign born or minority - 36% live alone

3 Aging in Philadelphia Philadelphia is neighborhood based Philadelphia is neighborhood based - 26 different neighborhoods Aging in Place Aging in Place - Client preferred & cost effective - Beneficial to mental health Barriers to independence: - 50% of seniors live within 200% poverty level Barriers to independence: - 50% of seniors live within 200% poverty level - Functional Limitations: Seniors (60%) struggle with at least one ADL and/or IADL - Physical limitations increases risk for social isolation & depression - Physical limitations increases risk for social isolation & depression - 36% cannot access a car - 36% cannot access a car - Financial stress causing them to skip meals (9%) - Financial stress causing them to skip meals (9%)

4 Aging Network: Supporting Independence Seniors rely on an integrated network of community services with the goal of helping seniors to: Seniors rely on an integrated network of community services with the goal of helping seniors to: - Remain at home - Maintain a Safe Environment - Retain the Proper Social Support More than 150 organizations work in Philadelphia helping older adults accomplish this goal More than 150 organizations work in Philadelphia helping older adults accomplish this goal

5 Aging Network: Supporting Independence Senior Centers Senior Centers 24 senior centers and 11 meal sites 24 senior centers and 11 meal sites - 23,000 seniors Senior Housing Facilities Senior Housing Facilities - Low Income Housing - Tax Credit Housing Case Management Programs Case Management Programs NORC Supportive Services NORC Supportive Services Adult Day Care Programs Adult Day Care Programs Innovation in technique and approach ensures independence of senior population Innovation in technique and approach ensures independence of senior population

6 Aging in Philadelphia: Benefits of Gardening Physical Benefits Physical Benefits Aerobic, isometric and isotonic exercise Aerobic, isometric and isotonic exercise Improves strength, endurance and flexibility Improves strength, endurance and flexibility CDC concluded that gardening helps seniors meet the recommended amount of exercise CDC concluded that gardening helps seniors meet the recommended amount of exercise Prevents diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and heart disease Prevents diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and heart disease Stimulate healthy appetite and improve sleep patterns Stimulate healthy appetite and improve sleep patterns Gardeners are more likely to: Gardeners are more likely to: - Have lower blood pressure; -Eat a Healthy Diet (more fruits and vegetables)

7 Aging in Philadelphia: Benefits of Gardening Psychological Benefits Gardening is a form of meditation, where seniors can find solitude and peace Gardening is a form of meditation, where seniors can find solitude and peace Gardening promotes a sense of achievement and accomplishment Gardening promotes a sense of achievement and accomplishment Studies prove that gardening reduces depression and improves mental illness Studies prove that gardening reduces depression and improves mental illness The Earth laughs in flowers - Ralph Waldo Emerson

8 Aging in Philadelphia: The Network Catches the Garden Wave Community Survey: Access & Interest in Gardens 28 community organizations responded 50% have access to a garden 50% dont have access to a garden, most are interested but dont know where to start Challenges & Benefits Benefits: Benefits: Non-traditional therapy, Learning opportunities, Unifying agency, Programming, Interaction with nature, Neighborhood beautification Challenges Challenges: Staff time, Volunteers, Management, Recruitment, Training, Money, Vandalism

9 Aging in Philadelphia: The Network Catches the Garden Wave Cultivation of flowers & produce are used to: Cultivation of flowers & produce are used to: - Assist consumers - Participate in farmers markets - Prepare food for seniors - Create fresh flower arrangements for the center Respondents who didnt have access to gardens cited the following reasons: - Needing partners Respondents who didnt have access to gardens cited the following reasons: - Needing partners - Missing Volunteers - Lack of Funding - Not knowing where to start - Lack of Supplies

10 Aging in Philadelphia: The Network Catches the Garden Wave Next Steps In order to expand, enhance or sustain community gardens, we must: In order to expand, enhance or sustain community gardens, we must: - Remove barriers - Increase capacity -Involve older adults in gardening activities -Improve community involvement & volunteerism


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