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Congrats Partnering Together for Change!

Congratulations! to our Partnering Together for Change Coalition for receiving the Engaged Older Adults/Residents Challenge Award at the Walk with Me Changing the Culture of Aging Conference.

The Bloomington Cove Living Quilts was submitted by Lisa Meschino and Sarah Smith on behalf of the Bloomington Cove residents from Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ontario.

group and award

Symbolically, quilts represent a union of contrasting patches coming together. Historically they are used to represent themes of self-expression, a union of diverse values and beliefs, different cultures, history, family, love, and comfort. The residents of Bloomington Cove created a “quilt-style” mural over three guided art therapy sessions that used the specific directive: What makes my day living at Bloomington Cove? A leader in culture change for long-term care, Bloomington Cove is a dementia-specific long-term care home in Stouffville, Ontario that is using creative means to ensure the culture change process is truly inclusive, particularly of its residents. The process of making the mural is a testament to that core value of inclusiveness.
 
Each resident was given a square (cork tile) to create an abstract design or to represent themselves using a variety of materials. The residents wrote their names on the backs of their art work, and their pieces were collected and assembled into a larger work of art. Each square tile represented an individual, like a patch in a quilt, with the combined larger work representing Bloomington Cove’s unique community.
 
As the sessions progressed, residents experienced increased freedom of self-expression. What this reveals is not only the momentary therapeutic benefit of making art, but also the larger importance of art for helping individuals who are isolated from their communities --for social integration and wellness. The quilt depicts this experience of continuing to live meaningful lives and provides insight into what living a meaningful life can mean for residents.
 
In their own words:
 
I think that everyone is nice here, that just makes every day a good day.
 
I have fun living here, for lots of reasons, but I love the art.
 
I like everything this place has to offer, where you can accomplish something and have a chance to be proud of it…like making art, like we did today or baking or gardening.

For more information on any of the PiDC Alliance initiatives, contact Sian Lockwood, Knowledge Translation Specialist.

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