This October, thousands of residents in our homes across the country will be taking part in the Big Draw Festival 2020, with a very topical theme this year – ‘A Climate of Change’. This is set to be an exciting month for everyone involved, and we can’t wait to see what the lifestyle teams have in store, from school partnerships to virtual animal sanctuary visits to draw inspiration from.
We’re proud to be the prime health and social care partner for the festival for the second year running, renewing our commitment to show you all our activity-based care approach, while showing how, even with the restrictions put in place as a result of coronavirus, our home teams continue to help residents to connect with our wider communities.
We also hope that our involvement will inspire other providers running care homes across the country and beyond to join in with the Big Draw Festival and share their creations with us using the hashtags #CareToDraw, #BigGreenDraw, #ClimateOfChange and #TheBigDraw.
Art therapy has many proven benefits for older people, while being incredibly accessible, no matter the age or skills, so we couldn’t agree more with the Big Draw team’s vision to promote drawing as a universal tool for learning, expression and invention.
On top of physical benefits, from increased motor skills to improved coordination, creative activities such as drawing can truly boost cognitive function and even reduce the rate of development for a range of memory conditions, including Alzheimer’s. Initiatives, such as The Big Draw Festival, also offer the added benefit of providing a fantastic opportunity for social connection – by bringing together groups of people around one common activity, albeit virtually – so we’d like to encourage everyone to pick up a pencil this October, whether they’re in a care home or living with their family!
There are easy ways to add art to an older person’s routine – check out our five top tips for getting creative at home:
1. Take a trip down memory lane
An art session can be a fantastic opportunity for reminiscence. Ask your loved ones about their happy memories, discuss their favourite painting, sculpture or place, and see if you can recreate it on paper together.
2. Colouring is for all ages
Over the last few years, colouring books for adults have gained in popularity and have become more mainstream. Avoid childlike ones, try and pick one your loved one will enjoy, or even better, choose it together.
3. Step outside for inspiration
Sometimes, inspiration is just on the doorstep. A walk and some fresh air can do wonders to one’s health, no matter their age. If your loved one is able to go out, why not take a walk to a nearby park, or even just into your garden, for an inspiration, then paint or draw what you’ve seen together?
4. Get all of the senses involved
If a loved one’s vision is impaired, then it’s important to think of the other senses. Try creating a mosaic-style artwork by using different layers and textures, from fabric squares to buttons, ribbons and tulle.
5. Keep it simple
Many older people grew up with simple tools for drawing, including pencils, charcoal, crayons and papers. Using familiar items can make a big difference in your loved ones’ levels of confidence, so remember to keep it simple.
To find out more about the Big Draw festival, please go to thebigdraw.org