Blog#2 Getting to know the community and how to a retirement home

This has been my third visit to the Carnegie East House of Seniors. From the first meet and greet to negotiating how to get this project filmed with the least amount of disturbance to the community, I begin to know the business of running a retirement home on another level.

The stomach flu that occurred all over the building on my last visit turned out contagious and the head of their management office, Joe, became sick right after visiting some residents and checking up on them. The lady I am in touch with, Margaret, luckily did not catch it because she chose to handle all of the businesses in her office, through landline phone calls. Is it the right thing to do and the right way to do it when you are handling issues like such within an elderly community? I guess you could argue in both ways. Personally, I think it is perfectly normal because she is not a nurse, and a healthy coordinator is always more helpful than another contagious stomach flu patient.

The seniors I met and talked to all had different things to do while I visited. One lady, PJ, was heading out as I walked in through an automatic door that isn’t very automatic. One lady, Mary, was reading by herself in a large book room with magazines and newspapers. I believe I saw the latest issue of Self on her left hand side. Two ladies were chatting with a young man visiting his grandfather living across one of the lady. They were praising how nice the young man is, coming to visit his “old man”, to which the young man responded by promising to come more often just to visit the entire community. The corridors of residential rooms are so empty and quiet with laundry room on each floor.

The activity rooms are so empty either, even though it is a Saturday afternoon—maybe the stomach flu really hit a lot of people really hard. I look forward to know the people there better and dig deeper on the issue I am concerned with: How independent they are in the House? How much in terms of their income are they paying for this independence? Do they rather want to live with their family? Are they forming an Assemblage with agency in the House or is it just about people spending the last decades of their lives together because their children need more space?

Professor Bianco’s concern becomes very real in the last few days, when the House notified me that they might no longer be able to coordinate with me for this project because it is “going to be time and energy consuming” on their end due to limited resources and the shortage of hands, because taking care of the community is their first priority. Fortunately enough for me, after a few email exchanges, they are now convinced that my activity at the house will not affect the normal operation in the House and the community. In other words, I am just another volunteer with “eyes and ears” that could record things with permission. But their concern is actually what indicates that they truly believe that the community in the House comes first given any circumstance, which I, as I made clear in my emails, respect profoundly.

~ by lw1956 on February 28, 2019.

One Response to “Blog#2 Getting to know the community and how to a retirement home”

  1. Most affective– The almost blurry images with round corners and a warm color scheme really gives a nostalgic affect. Pairing them with your story, such as the description of the stomach flu, puts audience into your ecology immediately and grasps onto people’s emotions when thinking about senior citizens.

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