Nourishing the Body, Mind, and Spirit

Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is a 200 bed not-for-profit residential and subacute facility founded in 1971 for Holocaust survivors by Holocaust survivors. Margaret Tietz Center, a member of CenterLight Healthcare System, is located in the most ethnically diverse and oldest borough in the nation. The affiliation with CenterLight has enabled Margaret Tietz to further reach out to the Jewish community surrounding the facility with the installation of a fully Glatt Kosher Kitchen under the Vaad Harabonim of Queens, a Shabbos entrance, Shabbos elevator, and a Shabbos hospitality apartment for visiting family members. All of these “AMEN”ities have made Margaret Tietz a desirable choice for the Jewish population.

As a not-for-profit facility, Margaret Tietz is a beneficiary of several grants that have positively impacted on the quality of life of our residents. Over the past year, we added several new programs to address the needs of long term care residents and persons with Dementia. The unique programs developed through our Therapeutic Recreation Department include group therapeutic clowning with Lev Leytzan-Elderhearts, yoga and massage therapy.

Through Lev Leytzan-Elderhearts, clowns provide individual and group therapeutic clowning to the residents twice a month during a two hour visit.  Time is spent with residents who need extra socialization, 1:1 interventions and the therapeutic experience that therapeutic clowning provides. Most of the residents served by this program experienced trauma or loss.  Many are Holocaust Survivors who also have a diagnosis of Dementia.  Through the therapeutic interventions provided by trained professional therapeutic clowns, residents feel empowered, and are able to experience positive interactions and socialize in a safe and fun environment.  The therapeutic clowns engage residents in decision making by acting out various scenarios, such as ‘what to bring on a trip’, ‘celebrating a resident’s birthday’, and other impromptu interactions with the residents. Therapeutic clowning has enhanced the quality of life of our residents by allowing safe, fun, and exciting environment to interact with others.

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Experiencing Yoga Class at the Margaret Tietz Center
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Experiencing Yoga Class at the Margaret Tietz Center
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A touching visit with Lev Leytzan’s Elderhearts’ Therapeutic Clowns

At Margaret Tietz, licensed therapists offer residents massage therapy twice a month.  In addition, we offer massage therapy to residents as part of a monthly Spa Day, which also includes aromatherapy and manicures. Studies have shown that massage therapy can reduce depression, ease loneliness, reduce insomnia, and provide many physical benefits such as reducing pain in cancer patients and increasing flexibility and balance in the elderly.

Yoga is a form of movement and breathing that aims at uniting mind and body. It is easily adaptable to various levels and can be of great benefit for physical, spiritual and mental healing.  At Margaret Tietz, a licensed therapist provides chair yoga classes to small groups twice a month.

Therapeutic clowning, massage therapy and yoga have been well received by residents, families and staff.  These programs have significantly enhanced our residents’ quality of life.

For information about these programs, or any of the other services provided at Margaret Tietz, please contact Linda Spiegel, Director of Public Affairs, at lspiegel@centerlight.org or 718-298-7838.

© 2022 Association of Jewish Aging Services | All rights reserved.

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