Home brings past, future and everything together
from Michael and Kathy
Residents at Tower Bridge care home describe how being part of a group cultivates a sense of home, which then creates the foundation from which to have new experiences.
“In the group, it’s like traffic lights: Red, orange, green. I like to turn green. Say YES to things I have never said yes to before. I want to be up on that stage, try something new. You see more of life when we go out and see how other people live; stuck in here seeing the same people day in day out – you need a change. Doing something I thought I would never be able to do. Chance to be mischievous. We are not prisoners are we!”
Michael, resident, singer and storyteller with the Walking through Walls group at Tower Bridge care home, 2019
“Because it’s bringing the world together, where before, my world was breaking up and going out, apart, and not friendly. Bringing the world and my life together. In the group, I talk to others. Makes me feel good in life. I am living a life. I’ve got a life! Making friends. I like doing the singing and the dancing, seeing other people; going to the theatre [21st Century Tea Dances]; enjoy watching seeing others flourish. Bringing me out into the world!”
Kathy, resident and artist with the Walking through Walls group at Tower Bridge care home, 2019
Establishing a strong sense of group is a vital outcome of long-term creative residencies in care homes. This quality of belonging within a group forms the foundation for a sense of home from which to try something new and be in the world.
The idea that home is a state of being or place, that can integrate and enable both our past roots and our sense of the future, is explored by psychologist Papadopoulos in his work with refugees: “the very idea of home includes in itself origins as well as aspired goals” (Therapeutic Care for Refugees, p11, 2002).
He suggests that different etymological origins of the word home points towards it being a relational “collective connotation” not just “a personal home of one person”. It makes sense then that within the relational space which creativity and culture protects and values, the quality of our experience of home is enhanced. Residents, Michael and Kathy clearly convey that this enhancement of a sense of home, through our sense of self and community, both nourishes our roots (origins) whilst conversely attending to the future and enabling creative risk – to be part of the world outside the home itself.