Abe’s Garden – A New National Model For Those Suffering With Alzheimer’s Disease




NASHVILLE, Tenn – Abe’s Garden is a non-profit organization that seeks to establish a national model of residential living and daycare programs in Nashville, Tenn., for those suffering with Alzheimer’s disease. Abe’s Garden will include a unique facility to care for adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as assisted living apartments, and senior independent living apartments. 

A 29,000 square foot Abe’s Garden building with a 40-bed capacity and a courtyard developed specifically around the challenges facing those with Alzheimer’s disease has been designed. A research and training center is planned on the second level of the new facility, and an 11,400 square foot innovative day care center will provide services for up to 24 individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Abe’s Garden will be located on a 7.4 acre site that currently includes a 100,000 square foot senior independent living apartment building known as Park Manor. The second floor of Park Manor will be converted to an assisted living center for 24 residents, while the remaining five floors will continue to offer 84 independent living apartments as part of the realization of the Abe’s Garden vision. Abe’s Garden will be seeking LEED certification on the newly constructed portion of the project.

Construction to Begin At $9 Million Marker

The first phase of construction is expected to take place over an 18 month period. Upon completion, phase one will include:

  • A living, dining and resident care center surrounded by 12 programmatically designed, full-continuum of care, residential suites for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease

  • A 20,000 square foot renovation on the existing second floor to provide 22 non-memory care assisted living residences and related common areas
  • The shell space for a research and training center where instruction will be offered for healthcare workers seeking to improve the care they are providing individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias


  • The Club at Abe’s Garden, an evidence-based adult day care program serving twenty-four participants with Alzheimer’s disease, while also providing respite for family and other home-centered caregivers.


Understanding that Alzheimer’s patients like to wander, Abe’s Garden neighborhoods will face spacious interior courtyards.  Here, residents may enjoy the outdoors in a secure and picturesque area, and participate in a range of outdoor, seasonal activities.   

Abe’s Garden is a non-profit corporation which purchased Park Manor in January 2008.  The organization was founded with a gift from Shmerling and his wife in memory of his late father, Abram “Abe” Shmerling, M.D., for the purpose of creating a place for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Abe Shmerling, who died in 2006, retired from a 40-year medical practice when Alzheimer’s began to ravage his mind and body over a period of 11 years.

Equally important to the mission of transforming the full continuum of care for those it supports is the organization’s goal to be a site of research and training. Abe’s Garden has established an onsite program with Vanderbilt University Medical Center to expand Alzheimer’s research; assist with Abe’s Garden facility and program design; and disseminate innovative, evidence-based care models.

About Abe’s Garden

Abe’s Garden will be a center of excellence for persons diagnosed and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of this facility is to transform the full continuum of care for those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias throughout the United States by providing an unprecedented level of care and comprehensive array of services. It is also a site for research and teaching, setting a new standard for future programs and facilities caring for our nation’s rapidly expanding senior population. Abe’s Garden is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, currently accepting contributions online.

For more information please visit www.abesgarden.org

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