At the heart of the Innisfree experience is lifesharing among Innisfree’s more than 80 coworkers, volunteer caregivers, and long-term staff. Lifesharing at Innisfree means that coworkers and their caregivers live, work, and play together, sharing the joys, sorrows, satisfactions, and frustrations of everyday living. In this close-knit environment, everyone learns from each other and community members can develop profound, lifelong relationships.
Volunteering is an essential part of lifesharing. Innisfree’s caregivers are volunteers who forgo traditional employment in the mental-health field, which can advocate detachment between caregivers and care receivers. They choose lifesharing instead because they are seeking a way of life, not a typical job. They commit to at least a year of service to Innisfree. They range in age from their early 20s to their mid70s and come from all walks of life and all over the world, bringing cultural traditions and ideas that enrich community life.
When workstations end in the mid-afternoon, community members have the opportunity to participate in fitness activities, music therapy, art therapy, pottery, and paper-making. Meanwhile at home, other community members help prepare dinner, learn the challenges of house cleaning or doing their own laundry, and generally become more independent in caring for themselves.
Evenings and weekends
At night and on weekends, special events draw out individuals who want to relax and have fun. Among regular events are movie night, potluck dinners, themed dances, and summer barbecues by the swimming pool. These activities enrich the shared sense of community among all who call Innisfree home. It is often at these gatherings that the joy and wonder of the Innisfree lifestyle is most keenly felt.