Art sessions to help Manjimup residents with dementia

Tari JeffersManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Picture: Victoria Baker
Camera IconPicture: Victoria Baker Credit: Victoria Baker/Supplied

Weekly art sessions have been helping residents at Baptistcare’s Moonya Residential Care share their precious memories and personal stories.

Moonya lifestyle coordinator Suzette Starling said the program was for residents with dementia and art was a good way for them to express their emotions.

“When you are working with someone as part of art therapy, you both become engaged in conversation and share a creative moment to explore all kinds of possibilities,” she said.

“For many residents there’s the added satisfaction of achieving a finished piece of work; this is something they maybe never thought they could do.”

Moonya started the program last year after an art therapy program at the Manjimup Wellness and Respite Community Centre through Alzheimer’s WA came to an end.

Art enables residents to tap into their creativity, allowing them to explore another way of communicating or telling a story.

Suzette Starling

One such resident is Eva Howard, pictured, who uses paint and colour to explore her cultural past. “Eva is a creative spirit who is always looking at art as a way of self-expression,” Ms Starling said. “Art is a way for her to understand and learn, and it is quite spiritual to her.”

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