A Festival of Arts
With Care Home Open Day just around the corner, 28 June, Care England undertook a visit to Appleby House in Epsom to see first hand the transformative effects that both art and music can have for care home residents.
Rosanna Vellacott, Policy and Public Affairs Officer at Care England says:
“As soon as I stepped through the door at Appleby House I could see the swathes of art on show. It is a truly immersive art experience that demonstrates the role which creativity can have in lifting residents’ physical and emotional well being. Appleby’s use of art and music is indicative of their capacity in breaking down barriers and facilitating positive interactions between all people”.
Appleby resident, Judy, is one such example of Art’s transformative nature. Before the art programmes inception, Judy, was often despondent and for years struggled with communication, however Appleby’s management team emphasised how art had been a key factor in both her physical and mental renewal. Kim from Creative Minds is Appleby’s artist in residence, and explained that when Judy steps into the art studio, she becomes focused, and talks confidently about the colours and textures in her work.
Moreover, Appleby’s innovative use of art has been used to stimulate links between itself and the local community with great success. For example Appleby House hosts weekly intergenerational art classes involving both care home residents and local Primary school children and last year it staged its own music festival.
Shona Bradbury, Appleby House Manager, says:
“Since I arrived at Appleby House in 2014, I have seen first-hand how art holds the key to opening communication for so many people living with dementia. It doesn’t just provide an interesting activity, but can re-awaken people’s long neglected hobbies, bring opportunities for conversations and reminiscence, and help those who have lost the ability to communicate through conventional means to express their thoughts and feelings. Without a doubt, a creative approach to activities in Appleby House works for both residents and team members, making our home into a happier, calmer and healthier place.”
Sylvie Silver, Executive Director at National Activity Providers Association (NAPA) says:
“Care Home Open Day is a great opportunity to invite the local community in to homes to share the amazing work that goes on in them. Many will routinely display visual arts but far more creative activities happen every day. Knitting groups, Poetry clubs and Fine Art discussions are just a few that I have seen recently. Lots will be happening on 28 June and I hope that the general public will make the most of this opportunity to make friends with their local home”.
www.carehomeopenday.org.uk provides a suite of ideas for care homes allowing them to get creative on a small or big scale.