Residents channel their inner Picasso

The weekly art sessions improve residents’ wellbeing.

The corridors of TriCare’s Mt Gravatt Aged Care Residence in Queensland are ablaze with colour.

Since the aged care and retirement living provider introduced art lessons at its south Brisbane site, residents have been busy with paint brushes channelling their inner Picasso.

Rita Herman

Long-time Mt Gravatt resident Rita Herman looks forward to the weekly sessions. “I love taking the time out of my day to sit and focus on my artwork,” said 82-year-old Ms Herman. “I could spend hours painting or beading and not realise the amount of time that has gone by.”

Ms Herman’s artwork – which adorns the walls of the 152-bed facility – is popular with her fellow residents. “I put a lot of love into my artwork so seeing them displayed on the walls and having people appreciate them brings me such joy.”

Residents’ artwork adorns the walls

Resident Margaret Whannell starting participating in the art sessions when her husband’s health began to decline. “He became unable to communicate verbally, so doing art beside him was a way to spend time together without having to talk … He gets very excited when I bring my finished artworks to show him – it’s nice for him to feel included.”

The art sessions help boost the 89-year-old’s mood. “My mental wellbeing has improved so much since I started,” said Ms Whannell.

Joye Noon

TriCare’s volunteer instructor Joye Noon picked up the art bug from her father. “My father loved art and always did. It was something we loved to do together, even when he moved into aged care before he passed away,” she said. “Volunteering at TriCare helps me feel close to him and like I’m giving back to those who need it.”

Ms Noon said she gets as much pleasure out of the art sessions as the residents. “There’s something so heartwarming about watching the residents dedicate so much time and energy into their art and having it all come together.”

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Tags: art, Joye Noon, Rita Herman, tricare,

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