Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s 18 communities are active in supporting the arts in the greater community as well. Through providing transportation to instructional opportunities off-campus, inviting the community in to view art exhibits and sharing what they’ve learned about how art enhances life, PMMA communities are helping seniors live “the way you want to live.”
Kirkwood Middle School students, accompanied by Literacy Coach Karen Ambuehl, recently visited Aberdeen Heights to interview our residents about the kind of music they like to listen to. The students had recently seen the documentary "Alive Inside," about "music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity." It is a story about Music & Memory founder Dan Cohen and his efforts to "demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it."
"Our kids benefited immensely from learning how to have a good old-fashioned visit. We prepared the students with a questionnaire that gave them questions or talking points when talking with the residents of Aberdeen Heights. More than anything, we stressed that they needed just to be present and have a conversation," said Karen. "Kindness counts more than getting answers to all the questions. I loved watching how the students gently jumped right in and began having conversations. The residents were equally glad to have a captive audience! I am hopeful that we can go back to Aberdeen Heights next year to actually see the residents using the iPods and personalized music."
Several residents of Salina Presbyterian Manor and frequent Art is Ageless® competitors participate in a painting class offered through the Salina Senior Center, just one of the many community partnerships that benefit Art is Ageless in Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities.
Through its proximity to the University of Kansas, residents at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor often work with KU students to create works of art. Over spring break, students visit the Lawrence campus and work with residents of Wheatlands Health Care Center.
The Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association Central and Western Kansas Chapter to display a traveling exhibit, consisting of artwork created by those in the early stages of dementia through the JW and Reola Stark Arts & Inspiration Center. The exhibit was on display at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor through April 10, 2014.
Newton Presbyterian Manor residents created dozens of stuffed animals for first responders to share with children they encounter while answering emergency calls. The hope is that the stuffed animals will help calm and comfort children in crisis situations.
At Manor of the Plains in Dodge City, Kan., the Happy Quilters have been making quilts and lap blankets for various charities since 2005. Their first project was 20 quilts for the Council of Indian Nations in Phoenix, Ariz. Other recipients include survivors of Hurricane Katrina, the Greensburg, Kan., tornado, and house fires in Dodge City.