Care UK residents are no strangers to creative pastimes – arts and crafts, sculpture and painting are regular activities in our homes because they enable residents to express themselves while enjoying a calming pastime.
Throughout October, residents from our many care homes joined forces with schools, nurseries and groups of young people to enjoy some creative pursuits as part of the global Big Draw festival. Care UK sponsored the festival, which was themed ‘Drawn To Life’.
At Buchanan Court, in Harrow, local schoolchildren and residents worked together to create ‘communication cards’ for residents living with dementia. These featured emotions, wants and needs to give people living with dementia an alternative way to communicate.
At Sherwood Grange in Kingston Value, South London, the team invited a male model to the home for a life drawing session. Rick Mayne, Home Manager, says: “Most people expect life in a care home to be a certain way – but we’re keen to ensure that there are no limitations and every day can be different and fun.”
In Edinburgh, professional artist Jennifer Thomson led a special art workshop at Murrayside care home. Jennifer also unveiled the ‘Edinburgh Zoo Queue’, a print she created in memory of her late father, a former resident of Murrayside, which she donated to the home.
The Broadstone Scouts group went along to The Potteries in Poole to reproduce the outside of the care home in a large drawing. Children and residents teamed up to draw different sections of the exterior, bringing them all together to create a large masterpiece – complete with wildlife that the artists had spotted during the day.
Youngsters from the Castle Nursery in Bromsgrove spent the day with residents at Chandler Court enjoying a reminiscence activity. Everyone created pictures of their favourite times of the year and their fondest memories, including Christmas and family holidays.
Suzanne Mumford, Care UK’s dementia expert, says, “Arts are an essential part of life in our care homes and I’ve seen first-hand how drawing and painting can bring satisfaction and pride to older people. Using art materials can also be a powerful reminiscence activity for people living with dementia – prompting long forgotten skills and stimulating memories of a person’s earlier life.
“The Big Draw initiative chimes with our meaningful lifestyles approach to care and provides more fantastic opportunities for us to invite younger people into the home to showcase their artistic skills. Intergenerational relationships are enriching for both sides: residents love meeting young people and the events we organised provided a chance for children and residents to learn from each other.”