Thursday april 4, was the first of the photo shoots for the Lacaune Inside Out Project. 13 students from the collège de Lacaune came to the Nursing Home St Vincent just across the road to meet, exchange and take portraits and be photographed. The images will be printed up as large posters and pasted on the outside of building in the village. Showing the face of old age and raising issues that are uncomfortable I hope will give dignity and hope to out elders and change the attitudes of younger generations.
I was nervous that the kids would feel intimidated by the surroundings. They were amazing. Making the step over the threshold into an nursing home is scary. We think its Death’s waiting room and by entering we somehow will compromise our youth and health. The old folks have had to come to terms with all the signs of old age that we hope to avoid. Some people might just see the grey hair, bald heads, wrinkles, wheelchairs, signs of the body breaking down and dependence that comes with it, but that is only the surface. Taking the time to talk to these folks who have lived nearly a century is enriching. They have many stories, humour and despite failing hearing a curiosity and interest in others. It takes away some of the fear we project because we don’t know.
The activity room was buzzing with an atmosphere of kindness, consideration and joy. Stepping outside the comfort zone usually brings one into contact with wonderful new experiences. Here a few photos to share