Kansas Masonic Home located in Wichita, Ks. is a fifteen acre senior living community. The campus is in the process of transforming into households. This is a process called Culture Change dedicated to allowing residents to live life as they choose. Not an institution but a home. Here is a slide show.
The book “In Pursuit Of The Sunbeam” explains and guides individuals and organizations looking for information on resident directed living. Changing from nursing home to an “at home” model.
I am a homemaker within this community. I work in the Colonial household. I always have a smile and the time to listen to both residents and visitors. My major responsibilities are setting up dining for lunch and dinner, serving meals, and cleanup and dishwashing after meals.
Common goals are far reaching. Happiness, warmth, enjoyment, community and enjoying each other in a healthy, stable environment. Stories are important. Stories contain feelings, memories, hopes and dreams. Everyone’s story should be told. There are gems of knowledge to be discovered within the stories of our residents. Community stories can be told through artwork in may different ways. Pictures can tell an entire segment of a story. A symbol that could act as a central metaphor could be a mannequin. Taking copies of a residents pictures, the resident could assemble them on the mannequin to project who they are. If they wanted they could add optional clothing and position the mannequin to represent who they are.
Aging is a beautiful process that does not get enough positive exposure. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Self expression can take the beholder on a mental journey of discovery. It would take many hours of time to complete an art project for each individual mannequin. Family members , staff members and volunteers would need to partner for this project. Since this artwork is of personnel nature the halls of the Masonic Home would be the best place ot display the event. I would love to reach the younger generations so that they could realize the value of life and aging. Everyone who sees the artwork would be educated by it.