Ovation Jewish Home debuts house display | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Ovation Jewish Home debuts house display

Older adults participated in a workshop in which they created illuminated homes, paired with discussion of their life experience, through a collaboration between the Ovation Jewish Home and Dr. David Moss’ Illumignossi project.

The program is coordinated by Moss, a physician, and Dawn Adler, director of Ovation Adult Day Services. Fifteen older adults worked on their tiny, illuminated houses with the program, funded through the Jewish Home and Care Foundation.

Carl Kucharski’s illuminated home directly on the river in the display. During the workshop, Kucharski discussed how he has always lived near water.

Developed out of Moss’ curiosity about the lives of those behind their lit homes, Moss’ vision was executed and designed with Anya Vanecek, a graduate student at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“The project is all about illuminating life’s journey, but also seeing everybody as the light that they are,” Moss said. “When we allow [participants] to illuminate their lives, in turn that illuminates our larger community.”

The project is both accessible and rewarding for individuals with varying skill levels.

“We have people with dementia – I’m in there – and with Alzheimers,” Carl Kucharski said. “It brought back their memories to that time in their life in which they had family members and they had spouses and children.”

Kucharski also enjoyed bonding with Ovation Music Therapist Kevin Farinelli as the two were partnered during the workshops for the project. Farinelli discussed possible upgrades to the display, such as music and tunes for each home.

Kevin Farinelli’s, music therapist at Ovation Jewish Home, illuminated house. Ovation staff and residents paired up to form these small illuminated homes and discuss the concept of home and community through a series of workshops.

“The process of just getting to know each other while you are making the houses is on a much deeper level,” Farinelli said.

Farinelli and Kucharski discussed the representation of their homes in the display, particularly the proximity of Kucharski’s home next to the river.

“Wherever my house was placed, it was always near water,” Kucharski said. “I’ve lived around water all my life.”

Adler also discussed the impact of the program on Ovation staff. She believes that projects like Moss’ not only allow for older adult enrichment but increased bonds and understanding between staff and older adults at Ovation.

“The project is also an interesting way to teach staff about the individual without going through the typical life history or bio that you would do,” Adler said. “You get to learn about what brings this individual comfort.”