Last week, the feature story was about a Legacy letter. This week, we are proud to share another example of how the legacy of the residents and staff in one community is being honored and shared in a different way - through a work of art!
Sentinels of Legacy:
Honoring a Legacy of Care Through Art   
A story from Park Springs: Honoring the purpose of our work through art
From the moment you enter a building, you are surrounded by top-notch art, including photographs taken by Atlanta artist Shine Huang and a Chihuly-inspired glass work by Atlanta glass artist Matt Janke. Light pours into the entry hall from the landscaped courtyard ahead with yet another work by Matt Janke as the centerpiece. A café to your right smells inviting. Did you just enter an art museum, or the foyer of a nursing home?

Art museums and nursing homes do not typically have much in common. However, at Park Springs, one baby boomer is reinventing senior communities with an emphasis on legacy, feelings, relationships and a sense of home through brightly colored walls with museum-quality artwork.

Who is behind the concept? Enlightened by family experience and his own research, Andy Isakson, founder of Park Springs, wants to change how we look at life in later years and how we approach our own legacy and the legacy of others. 

“We are hosting visitors from around the country and around the world,” shares Isakson. “I hesitate to ever say the words ‘nursing home’.”

Isakson Living developed Park Springs, a continuing care community for more than 600 members who are over 55 years old, on a sprawling 67-acre campus in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Recently Park Springs built a new on-campus health center to serve the community that redefines long-term care. 

Art plays an important role in establishing legacy and in enhancing the community’s physical environment. Featured prominently as you walk toward the households hangs a
26-foot mural created by South Carolina artist Tarleton Blackwell, who has been cited as one of the preeminent African American contemporary artists. The mural “Sentinels of Legacy” was commissioned by Isakson to celebrate the commitment of the care partners and nurses who work in long term care, and the life and the legacy of the community’s members.
Legacy is an important word and the portrait demonstrates how important it is in the care received by the members who call Park Springs home. The mural depicts pictures of members when they were younger, with their families, with their care partners today in long term care. The job of the care partners and nurses is to meet the member where they are today, but they need to know about the member’s life and legacy to engage them as a person and build relationships in true person-centered care. 

There are many wonderful relationships that develop in long-term care between members, their families and those who deliver their care. Moving in to a long-term care community can be a pivotal and emotional experience for members and their children. It is often a time of reflection on legacy, family, life and living. The “Sentinels of Legacy” mural captures this sentiment. Obviously, a deep subject, the artist did a phenomenal job with his artistic interpretation.

If you've ever had the privilege of meeting Jeff Jerebker, you know that as a leader in this movement to change the culture of aging, Jeff is known for the wisdom and sage advice he shares with others on the journey.

His book, Musings + Art from Elderhood , enriched by Sandy Ransom’s thoughtful and powerful illustrations, follows the theme of the renaissance of sage-ing as a vital force in the age-ing movement as its inspiration. It discusses age-ing and related issues of health, philosophy, and spirituality. 

This small book is intriguing, honest, and has been a creative outlet for two age-ing friends expressing, sharing, through their eyes, mind and consciousness, their takes on entering elderhood, in an authentic way that allows the reader to ponder their own age-ing and purpose.

It is no doubt a part of Jeff's legacy -- perhaps it will help inspire yours!
Visiting communities who are leading the way in changing the culture of aging is something that most of us on this journey love doing.

I have had the privilege over the years to visit many incredible communities -- to see, and even more, to experience what home looks like, and better still, what it feels like!

My latest visit was to Park Springs in Atlanta, Georgia where I not only got to see the Sentinels of Legacy mural, but I had the privilege to meet many of the staff and residents (members, as they call them) who make this community very special. People who are definitely "making it happen."
Pioneer Network would love to hear about what you have seen and heard as you have visited communities on their journey to change the culture, who are "making it happen" -- or maybe that experience is happening right in your own backyard!

It's easy to share -- just send an
e-mail to [email protected].
Networking is one of the most rewarding activities that takes place during the annual Pioneering a New Culture of Aging conference each year.

Each of our attendees comes with something to share - providing opportunities to both give and receive.

We are so pleased that once again this year, Andy Isakson and several members of the team from Park Springs will be participating in this year's conference -- and while Andy has shared how much he and his team have received each year at the conference. We are so pleased that this year they will have an opportunity to give, to share how they are "making it happen." As the only Butterfly Home in the US, Park Springs will be sharing their experiences working with Dr. David Sheard and the team from Dementia Care Matters in the Intensive session, Loving: The Essence of Being a Butterfly in Dementia Care.

And by the way, if visiting communities who are "making it happen" is something you love doing, then check out the site visits planned for this year's conference!

Wednesday , April 17, 2019
2 p.m.-2:45 p.m. EST ::: 1 p.m.-1:45 p.m. CST,
12 p.m.-12:45 p.m. MTN ::: 11 a.m.-11:45 a.m. PST
(note: it's not our usual Thursday!)

By now you’ve probably heard some buzz around ageism -- the prejudice of people based on their age. And hopefully you have gained some awareness around it and are taking steps against it -- after all, you WILL grow old. But how much have you thought about ableism-the prejudice of someone based on their different abilities, whether physical or cognitive? None of us want to think of ourselves as prejudiced, but we make assumptions based on age and ability more than we think. Especially in the work that we do, these two “isms” collide on a daily basis. In this webinar we will discuss the intersection of ageism and ableism and the double whammy it has for the people we support.

Mel Coppola, President and Owner of Hearts to Serve

The Sharing the Vision webinars are presented at no cost.

Thursday, May 23, 2019
2 p.m.-3:00 p.m. EST ::: 1 p.m.-2:00 p.m. CST,
12 p.m.-1:00 p.m. MTN ::: 11 a.m.-12:00 p.m. PST

The Dementia Care Practice Recommendations were released over a year ago. Join Sam Fazio and Doug Pace from the Alzheimer’s Association as they share data and stories of what has happened over the past year as these recommendations have been put into practice. You will learn how these standards can be the basis of a culture of quality improvement which can be achieved in any long-term care or community-based setting. And as sponsors of the Dementia Track at this year’s Pioneering a New Culture of Aging conference, Sam and Doug will share with you some of the highlights from of what’s happening in the world of Dementia Care that will be shared at this year’s conference.

Sam Fazio, Senior Director of Quality Care and Psychosocial Research Care
Doug Pace, MHA, Director – Mission Partnerships, Alzheimer’s Association

Growing Person-Centerness Webinars are $59.00
Includes access to both the live webinar and access to the webinar recording