Comunidade dos Lares da Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Guimarães (Guimarães, Portugal)
Feb 28, 2023

Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Guimarães – institution aims to satisfy social needs. In the scope of the Institution’s social activity, in addition to actions integrated in Social Security such as support for the elderly and disabled, other means of doing good are included, namely in the health sectors.

Over the last four decades, the services provided by this Misericórdia have been more focused on social assistance in support of the elderly and people with disabilities, both because of the work it develops in home care, as well as the opening and remodeling of homes for the elderly, the namely: Lar Rainha D. Leonor, Human Solidarity Center Professor Emídio Guerreiro, Lar de S. Paio, Lar Residencial Alecrim, Reconhecimento das Trinas and Casa de Reposo de Donim. The community is formed by elder women and men, some of them already have signs of dementia or cognitive or motor impairment.

“Magic Carpets” projects

When selecting this community and concepts with which we developed artistic residences, we are aware of a specific situation that is the territory of textile culture. A territory is made of present past and future. There is a lot of documentation and work on material, heritage and historical issues, but very little information on intangible heritage, in this case people and their memories. And it is in this sense that we seek to develop work. The creation of an almost poetic archive through which these people can reveal (verbally, physically or with production of something) of their memories.

These contacts between generations so different, in which the artists come with new visions, different thoughts brought not only by the age difference, but also by the cultural geographical difference activate and stir up a more critical way of being and thinking by the cooperating community. Take them out of their routines, transform their days. They introduce them to new things. For the community, it is a pleasure and pride to reveal their memories and the contributions they have made to the generations following them. The feeling of belonging to something that was an important part of a story that is still being told. These actions also give the community a sense of pride in living. They feel that someone is aware of what they have done in their lives and recognizes their importance. We speak of communities that are in homes, often without any family, or without any kind of roots and roots. We talk about giving back pride and life.

Number of community members included in the project: around 40

Reasons for participating in the “Magic Carpets” project: To promote the relationship and integration with the local community (users of the elder homes) and that they review in their work the thinking about the territory and the artistic thinking around textiles, with the following objectives: to promote the group spirit; knowledge sharing; increase self-esteem; foster creativity; promote active participation in activities; develop fine motor skills; provide physical and emotional well-being; develop and deepen imagination resources, visual and spatial organization; development of plastic skills; enhance manual skills; benefit as individual resources; stimulate memory and attention and recall life experiences through tissue and the like.

For this community, it will be very important to promote trips to other places outside the home, something that is not easily achieved, due to the necessary logistics and inherent costs

With visits, in general, it is intended that people has the opportunity to (re)visit places of public and cultural interest, in addition to providing moments of relaxation, leisure and relaxation, increasing self-esteem and physical well-being and emotional. In addition to providing moments of conviviality between the communities of nursing homes and the exchange between the various Social Responses (other different nursing homes), visits to the outside encourage the participation of elderly people in order to enhance their potential.


Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Guimarães, António José Pinto de Matos ([email protected])