Monday, May 4, 2009
For the team enterprise assignment, our group decided to do a story on Helping Others to Live, an assisted living home for people with mental illnesses. With all the negative press about care homes – you rarely see any news because neglect and abuse stories when it comes to these places – we were naturally skeptical, suspecting that this place would at least embody some of the stereotypes. It did not fit a single one.
Here, we met with daily caretaker Michael Davis, perhaps one of the most gentle and benign individuals we have had the pleasure of interviewing this semester. He happily discussed the ins and outs of taking care of the house residents – feeding, bathing, providing medication and generally helping them out. Michael actually has a personal relationship with each and every resident. During one visit he would point out a particular individual and describe their likes and dislikes – Miguel enjoys music and dancing, Maria loves to examine the contents of purses, etc. He even knew the residents’ birthdays, and upon mentioning a recent celebration, he started a wave of conversation concerning the date of everyone’s birthday – even us reporters. Coincidentally, Laura shares an upcoming birthday with resident David Karl, the youngest of the house patients at the age of 27.
David chatted happily about his preferences in music – Christina Aguilera and Carrie Underwood are two of his favorite artists – as well as his love for the Weather Channel while playing rounds of Crazy Eights with the other residents. Of course, he instantly became shy when the camera came out, but he eventually warmed up and acted naturally, allowing us to capture him in a candid state.
Perhaps one of the most energetic and entertaining residents was Miguel, who enjoys dancing as well as collecting random items – including business cards, which he will happily trade with anyone. Just witnessing the residents during activities clearly proved how a good caretaker like Michael can have a positive effect on patients, keeping them both happy and healthy.
Group 10: Allegheny/Tioga/Nicetown - Brian Myszkowski, Lauren Pappas, Laura Yacoe
Posted by Brian Myszkowski at 2:18 AM