Kairos Alive! Community Arts & Wellbeing Residency™
Winona Health, Winona, MN
Community Arts and Wellbeing™ Residencies are custom implementations of Kairos Alive! Choreography of Care™ programs, designed to promote intergenerational community coherence and leadership development. Residencies are developed in collaboration with participating arts, healthcare, Tribal, education and social service organizations. The result is an integrated, interactive arts, health and creative aging program designed for specific community needs.
Kairos Alive! Community Arts and Wellbeing™ Residencies are modeled after our national award winning Arts and Health and Creative Aging programs featured in the 2012 PBS documentary Arts and the Mind. The program includes public information and involvement events; excerpts from the Arts and the Mind documentary; demonstrations of our approaches at nursing homes, community centers and schools; and practical steps in strengthening relationships between local, individual or community organization “champions” who want to integrate the arts of dance, music and story with wellbeing into community life.
Within a 6 month timeframe from fall 2014 to spring 2015, Kairos Alive! created 6 different residencies at Winona Health which included Moving Well™ Trainings for staff; Dancing Heart™ sessions for members of long term care, memory care, transitional care and assisted/independent living sites; Intergenerational Dance Halls™ with local bands held in the hospital lobby and the historic Watkins Mansion; workshops for hospice staff and volunteers; workshops for Winona State University students in the Winona Health Caregiver Network Program; and intergenerational community workshops at the YMCA (a program for kids K-4) and the local historical society (Winona Historical Society).
Hospital staff, nursing home staff, nurses, LPNs and all related hospital staff including food services, social workers, support and administrative staff, hospice, volunteers, assisted living, Winona State University students in the Winona Health Caregiver Network Program, and those interested from the larger Winona community.
At the invitation of CEO Rachelle Schultz, an innovator in rural healthcare, Winona Health sought a comprehensive residency to integrate the Kairos Alive! Choreography of Care model of participatory arts across staff, residents, students and volunteers. The goal was to enrich quality of life for residents, improve staff satisfaction, and enhance health and wellbeing. The residency was supported through the Winona Health Foundation.
A research pilot project led by a social worker within the community studied the before/after feedback of older adult patients and staff – pre and post residency. Findings showed an increase in job satisfaction among staff, an increase in positive moods and wellbeing among hospital residents, and overall positive perception of community members served by Winona Health. As a result, Winona Health decided to move forward with an application to the Department Human Services for a PIPP grant to integrate Kairos programs into Winona Health care systems. Kairos received an award from the Winona Health Foundation for their work during the 6-month residency.
In The Spotlight
Winona Health staff members were weeping openly after a Kairos Alive! Dancing Heart™ session in the community room on one of the hospital floors. They had just witnessed a wheelchair bound client “Jim” – who had spent months isolated, silent and alone – suddenly speak and move with enthusiasm during the dance and music theater enactment of a folk tale in the session. And that evening, he and his wife were the first to arrive for Kairos’ Intergenerational Dance Hall™ in the front lobby of the hospital.
University students who participated in the Kairos workshops learned tools and techniques to use when meeting with an adult in the community one-on-one, once per week. They were equipped with storytelling, music and movement ideas specifically for those interactions. It was at that dance hall in the hospital lobby where they had the opportunity to see all what they’d learned in action. The reaction was “Aah, now I get it.” They were eager to get back out into the community to work with elders and apply their knowledge. A Winona Health Outreach nurse said (of the workshops with students): “This is going to change the lives of these students forever.”
A planned multi-year residency at Winona Health through a Minnesota Department of Human Services PIPP grant. The goals are to integrate and replicate the Kairos Alive! Choreography of Care model across Winona Health, Winona State University students, and involve local performing artists for continued programming.
Supporting Research: Evidence shows that music, dance and storytelling contribute to cognitive, emotional and physical health and well-being in older adults (Castora-Binkley, Noelker, Prohaska, & Satariano, 2010; Cohen et al., 2006; Palo-Bengtsson, Winblad, & Ekman, 1998; Sevdalis & Keller, 2011). From a Master’s Theses by Wengler, Therese A., “The Importance of a Creative Arts Program for Senior Housing Residents” (2015). Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy Theses. Paper 8.
Our Kairos events were amazing! Staff loved learning this approach, and it has opened up whole new ways of thinking. We have great stories about impacts on residents.
I want my staff dancing and singing down the hall.