Several dozen residents are in the large living room, some slowly move around on their own, others use walkers to help with their balance, several walk with the aid of a cane. Many sit in large comfortable chairs and some in wheelchairs. A few have a noticeable tremor in their hands, and some are softly talking to themselves or to no one in particular. Many sit quietly with their eyes closed, perhaps sleeping, while a few gaze off without focusing on anything. Some interact with the staff, some do not. At one end of the room there is a bingo game in progress. Some of the players can find the numbers on their cards by themselves, but most need assistance. Along one wall is shelving filled with books, another wall features a large aquarium containing an assortment of brightly colored fish, and in one corner of the room is a flat screen TV tuned to a soap opera. Several ladies are watching it intently.
The people in this room represent a cross section of humanity. The men and women are different races and nationalities, and their ages span six decades. They come from many religious faiths and all types of economic backgrounds. They are of every political persuasion, and there is a wide variety of education levels. They filled their lives with an assortment of careers and jobs, and in the course of the human experience they have known great joy and sorrow. Several of the individuals were born with Down syndrome and other forms of developmental disabilities. Most are spouses, mothers, fathers and grandparents.