TRU PACE (Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) serves individuals 55 and older from all walks of life. This innovative program not only supports the physical and mental health of the participants, but also provides an uplifting, fun, and broad community in which the participants find meaningful daily interactions that serve the community as a whole. Staff members continuously identify activities and events that serve the participants on a deep level.
Jill Bilek (PACE Recreational Therapist) and the TRU PACE team have been searching for an activity that encourages the participants’ outlook for the future while reflecting on their past. Ultimately, they wanted to continue with the legacy of the PACE participants. After spending some time researching, Jill arrived at the idea of a time capsule box she saw on Pinterest. The team ordered a simple box that could be decorated by a fellow participant artist and planned out the items the participants would consider using for the ceremony.
Many participants brought trinkets that held individual value and meaning, while others drew pictures and brought photographs of their loved ones. One participant brought his favorite keychain from Boston, where he had grown up. For those who needed assistance processing what to memorialize, Jill found a helpful questionnaire from which the participants could choose writing topics such as: who they are, where they are from, or a letter to their future selves. Some participants wanted more wealth in the future or better health, while others admitted they were not “grown-up” yet.
The ceremony took place in the labyrinth near the TRU PACE building. Jill lined the box in the local newspaper on the day they buried the box, June 17th, 2019. A participant who was a pastor said a prayer of blessing for the participants, their memories, and the occasion. Many of the participants are unsure if they will have the chance to unearth the time capsule. With an acute awareness of how precious time can be, Jill made the date for retrieving the box two years hence, June 17th, 2021.
Memory and memorializing what people hold dear is important as it allows individuals to process their lives and the emotions that simple things can evoke. It is a healthy process emotionally and physically for anyone, at any stage in life. Whether you are a volunteer, staff member, family member, or supporter, the life and health of the TRU PACE community are tangible. TRU PACE reminds us how full life can be, at every stage, through these stories and memories.
Check out pace.trucare.org to learn more about TRU PACE.