Aged care residents making their mark on their home
Over the last year, John Moran, Recreation Activities Officer at St Catherine’s Residential Aged Care in Bathurst, has been working with residents to create 6 painted murals.
Together they are creating 4 x 8metre long wall murals with another that will go up the wall and across the ceiling. They’re also creating a very large mural outside in St Vincents.
“He encourages us… it means a lot to get together with friends to make art and enjoy each other’s company.”
John believes that entering aged care doesn’t mean that we should give up doing the things that make us happy. “People coming in to aged care should continue doing what they love. We must get used to residents with different interests, tastes and activities. They may want to listen to various genres of music, do art or enjoy meditation. All sorts of things. We must adapt to accommodate that.”
The work John is doing with the residents brings attention to what it means when you allow someone to just relax and to allow their mind to relax. He does the sketches while the residents do the painting. Each mural takes 5 to 6 weeks to complete. These projects prove themselves over and over again to be incredibly successful and empathetic therapy. With guidance they are learning without necessarily realising that they are learning. Getting staff, residents and family together allows trust to grow and develop over time.
“The reward is what you get back from residents you work with and from the families of those residents… this place is their home and they are making their mark on it.”
A video of John’s work at St Catherine’s is online at the link below.
Image: A resident at St Catherine’s painting one of the murals.