A Willing Caregiver, A Savvy Client

When one of our clients mentioned that she would like to go to the new Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, her caregiver readily agreed to accompany her to the museum.

When they arrived, they were told that to enter the gallery they needed an advanced reservation because Sunday was an especially crowded day.

Our client said to them, “I am 92 years old. I’m losing my eye sight and hearing. I want to see the new building before I die, and I personally knew Dr. Barnes.”

Magically, they let her in!


Things She Remembered

It turned out to be a very special experience for our client, who felt a personal connection to Dr. Barnes. She told all the guards at the museum and various patrons about her father and Dr. Barnes’ special relationship.

Dr. Albert C. Barnes was born into a working-class family in 1872, and grew up in Philadelphia. (Dr. Barnes and our client’s father had gone to school together.) After Dr. Barnes graduated from medical school, he and a colleague developed Argyrol, an antiseptic silver compound used in the prevention of infant blindness. Thanks to Argyrol’s success, Dr. Barnes began his famous art collection.

When our client was two years old, Dr. Barnes was 51 and had hired her father to make his first suit. He was very pleased when the suit was ready. A perfect fit! She remembered her father saying to Albert Barnes, “When you become a millionaire, remember me.” And he always did.

That same year Dr. Barnes, now a self-made millionaire, established the Barnes Foundation, originally in Merion, PA, and recently relocated to Center City Philadelphia.


“I Shall Return”

Our 92 year-old client was so busy telling her personal story that after three hours at the Barnes, she had only viewed one room of the vast exhibit.

Her parting words were, “I shall return, maybe next week. I want to see more of the exhibit.”


Making New Memories

Our client’s wonderful memories, and being able to share them, lifted her spirits. Having a creative caregiver, who was willing to plan a meaningful excursion, enhanced a 92 year-old woman’s life. The trip opened her up to again participate in the life around her while making it possible to live life on her own terms. Isn’t that what mutual sharing is all about!


Lois Young-Tulin

Lois Young-Tulin, PhD, is an Assistant Geriatric Care Manager at Complete Care Strategies