‘As soon as she sits down and starts doing it, it’s like there’s a switch that flicks, and there’s a bright, shining person with all this knowledge to share’
By encouraging one woman’s passion for painting, the Village Green life enrichment team has been able to enhance quality of life for both the resident artist and several other people living at the Greater Napanee long-term care home.
When a resident who we will call Ann moved into Village Green about a year ago, she was finding it challenging to adapt to life in a long-term care home.
But team members knew Ann was an artist, so one day they asked her if she would like to paint – and told her that other residents were interested in painting as well and could use her guidance.
While hesitant at first, Ann agreed to give it a go with the encouragement of the life enrichment team. When Ann made the decision to lead an art class, she began thriving in her new home, says Village Green life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Maddy Hudgins.
At the start of the classes, Ann will give the residents options about what to paint for the session.
If, for example, the residents decide to paint a tree, they will decide as a group which type of tree they would like to paint and then the life enrichment aides will help them choose colours and shades.
“It is incredible to watch her teach,” Maddy tells The OMNIway. “As soon as she sits down and starts doing it, it’s like there’s a switch that flicks, and there’s a bright, shining person with all this knowledge to share, and she loves it.”
Teaching residents to paint has unlocked a talent for Ann, whom Maddy says takes pride in the artistic accomplishments other residents are making under her tutelage.
“She is glowing and she loves teaching,” the LEC says. “I think she’s more proud of the work the other residents create than she is with her own (artwork). She does such a good job and she is so supportive.”
And the life enrichment team is proud of Ann.
“We have been really proud to see her come so far and to have so many people enjoy her class,” Maddy says. “(Residents) are getting this incredible instruction from an artist, so it has been really great for them as well.”
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