Cultural Immersion Experience
I participated in the disabled culture for my out-of-class experience. I attended a
Birthday Party and visited with a mentally challenged client (son of my friend) with a family friend at Parkwood Developmental nursing home facility in Valdosta, GA. Parkwood Nursing home is the residence of approximately 50 clients with varying mental and physical abilities. The front door of the building looks like the door on a house. When entering the front door, you get the feeling of a doctor's office. My friend had to ask for permission to see her son. We waited in the lobby which was nicely decorated in soothing colors of green and brown with plaques of accomplishment of the center and staff. The staff supervisor came up front to confirm who we were there to visit. She dispatched via the radio to Team 2 (clients are grouped in teams based on age and gender) that the client's parent was there to visit him. The staff supervisor asked us to wait and they'll bring her son up to the lobby in five minutes. It felt like we were intruding on the privacy of her son because we had to wait after asking for permission to see her son. I was challenged by the thought of how my friend must have felt waiting to see her son after not seeing for him for about 30 days. Most parents take raising their children for granted. My friend's son was escorted by two staffers through two doors that lead to the hallway and bedrooms of the clients. After my friend greeted her son, we were escorted to the dining room. The activity I attended was a birthday party held for several residents in the facility. All of the clients of similar birth age (5 15) and Parkwood staff responsible for this age group attended the party. Everyone wore hats, sang songs, played games, and ate cake and ice cream. The party was held in the dining room of the facility. The dining room is a big room with approximately 20 tables and chairs.
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