Washington Veterans Home Brings Nature Indoors Through Grant



Washington Veterans Home, a LeadingAge Washington senior living partner, has found innovative ways to keep their residents connected to nature with the Eldergrow GARDEN grant project.

The Department of Social Health and Services was awarded the grant by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and distributed to LeadingAge Washington partners, including Washington Veterans Home.


Eldergrow, an award-winning Seattle-based company, offers therapeutic gardening programs to seniors in residential and skilled communities. Through this new partnership, residents at Washington Veterans Home are now able to nurture a lush indoor garden from the safety of their community.


Eldergrow therapeutic sensory gardens are handcrafted locally in Washington by a team of veterans and adults living with disabilities, as part of a unique job skills training program. 


“After meeting the Eldergrow team, I was blown away with their passion and story as they clearly understand the full spectrum of how plants help all of us in our everyday life,” said William McElya, Administrator of the Washington Veterans Home. “The plants themselves are an absolute gorgeous addition to the already beautiful facility. The gardens will give many of our residents the horticulture connection that they once had, thus adding activities that break the separation and stigma of institutionalization and living in a ‘nursing home’.”


Studies show that therapeutic horticulture reduces depression, improves balance, and lowers the risk factors for dementia by 36%. Eldergrow offers elders a therapeutic connection to nature through enrichment classes on horticulture, culinary and garden art. 

Washington Veterans Home will maintain their garden and therapeutic program with the help of Eldergrow Educators who conduct bi-monthly classes with residents. “We are excited to start our new partnership with LeadingAge Washington to bring wellness indoors to Washington Veterans Home,” Says Eldergrow’s CEO & Founder, Orla Concannon, “This is easily a reflection of the innovative wellness that the community provides to their residents, because if you have a healthy garden, you know you have a healthy community!”


View photos from the October 12 kick-off at: 2021.10.13 Eldergrow program kickoff, Veterans Home | Flickr


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 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 in-person 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. For more information, visit www.Eldergrow.org