SPECIAL NOT-FOR-PROFIT REPORT SECTION | I Advance Senior Care Skip to content Skip to navigation


December 1, 2004
by root
| Reprints
A "best of the best" from past issues A collaboration of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging and Nursing Homes/Long Term Care Management
A selection of LTC programs that made a difference

Reprinted from past editions of the Not-for-Profit Report For the past eight years, in our Not-for-Profit Report, we've had the privilege of highlighting some true success stories in long-term care-people and programs that have put a warm and welcoming face on this always difficult profession. While focusing on not-for-profit organizations, in our continuing collaboration with the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, nothing in these stories forbids their emulation by the for-profit world. The stories are widely varied but share a common theme: organizations going an extra mile to enhance quality of life for their residents.

As a holiday present to the field, we are offering some of the most inspiring, enlightening, and entertaining stories we have published in the Not-for-Profit Report over the past several years. Although it's conceivable that these programs have changed to one degree or another in the months or years since publication, revisiting them can engender its own reward: an encouraging feeling that despite all the problems posed by the outside world, the unsung professionals of long-term care are doing good things for people under their care.

Happy reading!

From the publisher, editors, and sales staff of Nursing Homes/Long Term Care Management NOT-FOR-PROFIT report BY SANDRA HOBAN, MANAGING EDITOR

An intergenerational debut at the art gallery
It wasn't an exhibition of Old Masters or a collection of modern avant-garde artists-or was it? In June [2003], visitors to the Esther M. Klein Art Gallery were treated to a body of work conceived and crafted by a collaboration of Philadelphia-area nursing home residents and schoolchildren. The Klein Gallery, located at The Science Center in Philadelphia, hosted the premiere of the one-month exhibition, "Comfort & JoyÖ, Celebrating Intergenerational Artistic Achievement," an exciting amalgam of art and cultural achievements by the residents of the six nursing homes in the NewCourtland Elder Services' network and area students.

NewCourtland originally designed Comfort & Joy in 1997 as an arts and entertainment experience, but it has since evolved into a hands-on, interactive, goal-driven program. Prior to embarking on a project, everyone involved-the artists (accomplished professionals who dedicate their time and talents to this enrichment program), staff, residents, and children-receives sensitivity training to help him or her understand others' perspectives on life, age, and the world. The fruits of that training are evidenced by the close affection shared by all parties. Pam Mammarella, NewCourtland Elder Services' director of corporate communications and creator of the Comfort & Joy program, says that many of the volunteer artists continue to stop by just to say hello to their elderly friends.

According to the Klein Gallery's Director and Curator of Exhibits Dan Schimmel, the gallery has always emphasized art and science exhibits-its historical focus has been on the parallel relationship between the scientific and artistic approach to solving problems-but in the last 10 years many community outreach initiatives have been incorporated in the gallery's mission, such as the Art & Community Series, which showcases local organizations that use art to enhance the lives of their members.

While searching for the right intergenerational partner for this exhibit, Schimmel heard about Rodney Whittenberg of Melodyvision, Inc.-a nonprofit sound, music, and video production company-who had been a guest on WXPN-FM's Kids Corner and is heavily involved in NewCourtland's Comfort & Joy program. On this children's radio program, Whittenberg introduced "Intergenerational Moments," a series of 10-minute radio spots that would run on Kids Corner to discuss the dynamics and positive outcomes of NewCourtland's initiative in which students and residents jointly participate in arts and cultural projects. Schimmel contacted Whittenberg and together they approached NewCourtland with their plan to exhibit NewCourtland's intergenerational creativity at the Klein Gallery. The exhibition became reality. "The partnership with NewCourtland was a natural match for us to meet our outreach objectives," says Schimmel.

"This was such an exciting venture," agrees Mammarella. "It gave us an unparalleled opportunity to show the public what our residents can do. Blending elders with students gives both groups unprecedented opportunities to learn, teach, interact, and react not only to each other, but also with the professionals guiding the various projects. It is so rewarding to see residents discover their untapped talents. For many, their lives are now richer and more diverse than when they were living on their own."

Among the displays the visitors enjoyed throughout the gallery were mosaic murals, handmade quilts and dolls, a small-scale village based on the reminiscences of elderly residents, and more.