Ok, finally posting pics from my week of painting murals in a memory care facility in Walla Walla, Washington! I spent 6 days there, and made all of these below, plus the garden one from this post.
It was quite the experience, and I have to say, overwhelmingly positive. I enjoyed meeting the residents and learning the tiny snippets of what their lives used to be like. It was a bit emotionally taxing though, to be in that environment for 8 hrs a day, 6 days straight. It's just hard to see people so confused and frustrated sometimes. But I can tell that there are good moments, too. And really, most of them - like my Grandma was - are truly living moment to moment. I think that yes, the murals help to cheer and brighten up the spaces, but in this sort of facility, they are also very functional. The two murals I painted over the exit doors at the end of each hallway, served to disguise the doors. It can be frustrating for both the residents and the caregivers when they try to leave. The crazy bright flowers and parrots mural is in a room that they call the "snoezelen room" - a multi-sensory environment for residents to go when they get agitated. Check out the research here. Seems counter-intuitive until someone explains it to you. But this room is full of little squishy toys and multi-colored lights and music. And now my crazy mural. Apparently, the research shows that going into a very stimulating environment like this allows for distraction from what the resident was upset about in the first place. They forget what was so upsetting very quickly. Pretty interesting. Overall, I was extremely grateful to be a part of making this facility a little nicer!
Here's what I made:
|This one was started by a different muralist - He did the sign, I did the 3-D garage.|