Observations with residents and family members
We visited Heritage Place, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center for seniors in the Pittsburgh area. Heritage Place is a live-in facility where residents are provided with 24 hour care, it’s a place where residents have moved from hospital care into a skilled nursing care.
Meric, Irene, and I visited Heritage Place on Valentines Day—notice all the hearts. We visited the residents during their activity time and were able to disperse amongst them to have conversations independently. The residents were more than willing to talk with us, and actually they jumped right in. I was able to speak with an older woman, in her 60s, who was actually there to visit her mother. Her mother was 89 and had not walked on her own in 11 years, she had trouble with her speech and mobility. The woman had been taking care of her mother for quite sometime now. She tries to visit her every day, if not, she will just be in her room by herself. We had a very interesting conversation about proximity as well. She like that she lived so close because that did allow her the freedom to stop by whenever.
In contrast, Meric and Irene had really interesting conversations that gave them a different side of history. They spoke with residents directly and each resident shared with their stories of the past. The spoke of the mob in Pittsburgh, sewing gas masks during the war, and travels to Czechoslovakia.
Overall, our trip gave us two key insights:
There is a different side of history that older adults/seniors can share
Older children are increasingly taking care of their parents