The imagery was especially powerful at the January 5 Groundbreaking at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC) in Harrisonburg for the first three of 10 homes for Woodland Park.
The Groundbreaking Ceremony included various displays of resident-centered philosophy. Two residents of VMRC’s current long-term care community lifted soil with shovels which were decorated by residents. Residents baked cookies for the reception following the event. And residents assembled commemorative pouches of soil from the site with packets of wildflower seeds which were given to all attendees.
VMRC President and CEO Ronald Yoder summarized the significance of building Woodland Park:
“VMRC’s vision to pursue this project … is rooted in our desire and commitment to respond to the deep yearnings of elders, their children, nieces, nephews and siblings to offer a different choice for long-term care – one that enables elders to continue their normal patterns of daily living and one that responds to the desires and expectations of family members and caregivers.”
And before inviting persons to the site for the Groundbreaking, Ron added, “The small action with a shovel represents a shift from people viewing long-term care as an undesirable destination to a place to continue living and enjoying life as they wish.”
The theme of building a foundation was carried throughout the ceremony. Especially reinforced when attendees were asked to place small stones they had been given into the walls of a 4×4 model of a Woodland Park home. Residents, caregivers, spouses, employees, and donors participated in this part of the program.
Visit VMRC’s photo album on Facebook and at www.vmrcharrisonburg.
Blog Post Contributed by Maureen Pearson, Director of Communications, VMRC