Home | Specialty Focus | Provider’s home care package includes new art program
Client Lorraine Carroll (right) with artist Shirley Cambitzi (left). Picture: Supplied/HammondCare

Provider’s home care package includes new art program

Older people living at home and accessing the Home Care Packages (HCP) are enjoying one-on-one professional art sessions under an innovative program to boost well-being and social connections.

HammondCare's HCP program HammondCare At Home is offering clients art lessons under the Arts on Prescriptions at Home program.

HammondCare At Home's general manager, Bay Warburton, said the home care provider was the only one in Australia offering at-home art therapy to its clients.

"It's all part of the wide range of services we can offer to look after the whole person," Mr Warburton said.

"We support clients' physical, mental, clinical, and spiritual well-being.

"We work as a team to provide our clients with personalised care."

There's growing evidence that art as an alternative way of therapy in aged care significantly benefits residents' mental health. 

According to research, their artwork allows them to explore feelings and inner conflicts, foster self-awareness and reduce anxiety.

Art therapy also often provides a holistic perspective for people receiving palliative care to reduce pain and soothe negative emotions.

Eighty-seven-year-old Lorraine Carroll enjoys regular visits from artist Shirley Cambitzi at her Dee Why home in northern Sydney.

The two work with watercolours on landscapes, portraits, and still-life paintings.

When talking about her art, Ms Carroll speaks enthusiastically about the "sense of achievement" she feels through art.

"The amazing thing is how I can get lost in art," Ms Carroll said.

"It takes my mind off everything.

"I know I am working on something worthwhile that my children and grandchildren can have long after I am gone if they want."

Client Rosyln Rooke (right) with artist Michelle Lo (left). Picture: Supplied/HammondCare

Rosyln Rooke, 69, started art for its health benefits under a short-term restorative care program but continued when she moved to HCP.

Alongside artist Michelle Lo, Ms Rooke began to fulfil a lifetime ambition to learn how to paint.

"I always had an interest in art – all my life – but never learned how to draw or understand perspective or do faces," she said.

"When HammondCare At Home offered me the chance to spend time with an artist, I jumped at it!"

Ms Rooke lives with painful osteoarthritis in her hands, and the fine motor skills through doing art have helped her.

She also says spending time with Ms Lo benefits her mental health.

"I don't have a lot of social interaction," Ms Rooke said.

"When she comes, it's so enjoyable... it's almost like having a friend come.

"It really builds my confidence."

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