Parker Home unearths 2004 time capsule and plants another for 2024

Ten years ago, leaders and residents at Parker Home, Highland Park, buried a time capsule on the grounds of Parker at River Road with the request that it be unearthed and opened in 2014 and a new one interred for another decade.The goal was to have a look back at how things were and see how Parker Home has evolved over 10 years.

The initial task at hand was to find the burial spot of the 2004 time capsule. Sometime over the last decade, the original capsule’s marker was lost to the elements. Resourceful Parker staff used a metal detector to locate and unearth it.Although rusty and weathered on the outside, the time capsule’s contents were very well preserved.

In 2004, Parker consisted of Parker at Landing Lane in New Brunswick and Parker at River Road.A letter to the “future” found within the time capsule indicated that they were just breaking ground for their soon-to-be assisted living residence — the future Parker at Stonegate — and a building that would house their health and wellness program and child development center — now known as Parker at the Pavilion.The time capsule also contained many photos of residents and employees, a collage of newspaper clippings, a list of Parker employees, a newsletter, rosary beads, and much more.

A decade ago, Parker was just beginning to enrich their organizational culture with Eden Alternative, which transforms institutions into homes through its principles and practices.The 2004 letter to the future stated that,“the Eden philosophy encouraged us to bring in light, gardens, animals, and children and has helped to guide us as we have looked to the past and learned from it.” Employees were particularly pleased to see how Parker’s culture has evolved over 10 years into one of person-directed care where residents have a choice, dignity, respect, determination and purposeful living.

Parker residents and employees worked hard to decide what to place in the time capsule, which is scheduled to be opened in 2024.There are photo albums and collages of Parker residents along with employees, children and animals. A “tree of life” picture on canvas makes use of thumbprints for leaves. The time capsule includes brochures, an employee t-shirt, newsletters, and more.

Also included is a letter from Parker’s leadership to the residents and employees in 2024, which hopes that in the future,“Parker’s legacy continues to represent exceptional quality and an organization that is viewed as a state and national leader in the delivery of person-directed eldercare.”

For more information, call 732-565- 2400.