A Man of Many Talents in an Assisted Living Community

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assisted living artist

Olney Payne next to one of the many beautiful watercolors he has painted.

Olney “Bud” Payne, a gifted artist and champion table tennis player, has found a wonderful home that supports his interesting talents.

With a rich history of serving seniors in Baltimore since 1884, the rooms and corridors of the Presbyterian Home of Maryland are adorned with some beautiful and historic pieces of artwork.  You might be surprised to learn that some of the most beautiful works on display are the watercolors of Bud Payne, a 97-year-old resident of the community. Mr. Payne’s watercolors capture the rich history of Baltimore and the surrounding region with such realism and detail you would think you are looking at photographs.

As a student at the Maryland Art Institute, Mr. Payne had primarily used pastels and charcoals as an artist.  After considering a suggestion from a friend to try watercolors, he can still recall fondly how he had walked into a bookstore and started reading about the medium he had never used.  He left the store with two books that day, which served as springboards to developing a talent that he has enjoyed for a lifetime.

Mr. Payne is often on hand when visitors admire his art on display in a small gallery at the Presbyterian Home.  When asked about a piece of art, he can relay with amazing detail the location and facts about the subject matter.  “Mr. Payne is a beloved resident here,” said Suzanne Shabe, lifestyle coordinator at the community.

“I have fond memories of painting places all throughout Baltimore,” said Mr. Payne. “I especially loved painting in the city, and the Baltimore Harbor is one of my favorite places.”  Mr. Payne has not only captured Maryland history in his watercolors, but his storytelling about the locations and people he has painted fascinate visitors, friends and the staff at the Presbyterian Home.

“Some of the local historic places he has featured in his watercolors are gone, so we have the legacy through his paintings to see what we used to have in the area,” said President and CEO of the Presbyterian Home, Susan Shea.

Painting is not Mr. Payne’s only talent, however.  He also happens to be a champion table tennis player.  Thanks to the individualized attention the staff has given to their residents, Mr. Payne is still able to enjoy his favorite pastime. “We purchased a table tennis table when Mr. Payne moved in,” said Mrs. Shea.  “Now, Mr. Payne enjoys a weekly table tennis game with friends and neighbors.”

With his many unique pastimes, Mr. Payne is just one example of the diversity of residents at the Presbyterian Home who ultimately contribute to its dynamic environment.  While the community provides assisted living, 24-hour nursing and respite care, the staff embraces a philosophy of really getting to know each of their residents and creating an individual program that goes beyond this care and the activities.   An industry-leading staff-to-resident ratio helps make this possible for Mr. Payne and his peers.

“I have a process that I go through to really get to know each resident,” said Mrs. Shabe.  “Our philosophy is all about maintaining and improving their quality of life. We look at what their social, spiritual, emotional and intellectual interests are.  We take all of these into account and make sure that we offer activities and connections that will enable them to thrive.”

Commitment to the Community
Originally known as the Presbyterian Home of Baltimore, the community opened its doors on Calvert Street in downtown Baltimore in 1884. In 1920 the name of the residence was changed, and in 1929 it was moved to its current location, the Offutt Estate, a large and gracious home in Towson.

Over the course of time numerous changes have been made to the original dwelling. The construction of additional wings has allowed the community to expand its population and add a wellness area, including an activity center and physician’s suite. These renovations have allowed Presbyterian Home to provide up-to-date accommodations and services within its gracious environment.

Today the community sits amidst mature trees, flowering shrubs and beautifully landscaped grounds. A walking path with conveniently placed benches meanders beside a low stone wall on the edge of the property and sitting porches grace the facade of the building. Residents enjoy both the charming outdoor surroundings and the many welcoming and comfortable areas within the building itself. In addition, the surrounding neighborhood offers a vast array of social, cultural, educational and recreational opportunities to satisfy even the most active residents.

Mrs. Shea and the Board of Directors of the Presbyterian Home are committed to delivering exceptional care and honoring the rich history of the community.  “We are committed to delivering the highest quality of care possible,” said Mrs. Shea.

That commitment of the staff also extends to the relationships they share with the families of their residents.  Since most of Mr. Payne’s family lives in California, an open dialogue and communication is paramount for everyone to have peace of mind.

Having found a home that provides this security while embracing his different talents, Mr. Payne could not be happier.  “I can’t imagine living anywhere else,” he said with a smile.

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