The writing is on the wall, right next to the fabulous photographs.
On January 21, the unveiling of fifty resident portraits went on exhibition in the Rockcliffe Care Community dining room. Residents, families and friends turned out to see the event, which is a new, ongoing and popular program at the home, available to all residents.
The portraits were taken by a professional photographer, mounted on black and white plaques, and displayed on easels with a small biography or statement from the resident or their family. Afterwards, they were hung along the first and second floor corridors, with preparations underway on another fifty for the following event held on February 26.
“Our portrait studio program was created to give residents an opportunity for self-expression, and provide them with meaningful leisure experiences,” said Mandy Parmanand who developed the studio as Director of Resident Programs at Rockcliffe. “It is a way to welcome residents and visitors with a great sense of arrival when they come to our community, and is truly a representation of the warmth of human connection.”
Mandy spoke with residents to see what their individual needs and interests were before settling on the idea of a resident portrait studio. Team members assist residents to write a short paragraph or quotation to best describe themselves, and help them to prepare for their photos.
Mario Reyes is a resident at the care community who participated in the portrait program. “The photo is great, but I’m better looking in person,” he said with a smile.
Arnold Gedmintas visits his wife at Rockcliffe on a regular basis, and said, "It truly felt like you were walking through an art gallery. I see how difficult it is for these people suffering from a multitude of ailments. At one time, they were full of life, and this event has helped to accentuate this feeling again.”
He especially likes the pairing of photos with words. “As I read the various narratives, there are people from all walks of life, from various parts of the world, each with a very interesting story to tell. This reminds me not to judge a book by its cover, and to use the good dishes because life is not a dress rehearsal. Kudos to all those who made this successful event possible,” he added.
One hundred portraits have now been placed throughout the Scarborough care community, giving the hallways a very homely feel. Many of the employees have been deeply touched at witnessing residents and their families coming together through the studio.
With no shortage of wall space at the home, these portraits and more will continue to line the hallways for all to enjoy and admire.