Customers at the new community care village, Belong Warrington, have been connecting with their creative side through an inspiring sensory art workshop. Aimed particularly at the needs of people living with dementia, the Five Senses workshop is designed to stimulate the senses and inspire participants to express themselves through art.
Led by artist, Christina Milarvie Quarrell, the session began with the use of essential oils to evoke memories and emotions associated with the smells. After a discussion around any memories that had been triggered, participants were encouraged to choose colours that corresponded to these memories, using acrylic paints to express their feelings on canvas. In closing, the group read poetry and laughed at shared memories of their experiences growing up and raising families.
Janine Curwell, General Manager of Belong Warrington, said: “The sensory workshop and activities offered something for everybody that took part. As well as the rewarding experience of so many people in the village translating their memories into beautiful pieces of art, Christina’s poetry reading also moved us. I’ve rarely heard so much laughter as when we all looked through a book of photographs of Saturday night in Glasgow, reminiscing about past times.”
Doreen Hunter, one of the first people to move into Belong Warrington, took part in the workshops and created a painting inspired by her memories. Doreen’s daughter, Lesley Inniss, is delighted by how well her mother has settled into her new home at Belong, making new friends and regaining a level of independence that had not previously been possible.
Speaking of the move, Lesley said: “It’s wonderful to hear my mum laughing with her new friends and watch her joining in with the activities. We were worried about the change, but she very quickly felt at home and has a better social life now than she had done in years.”
Belong Warrington uses the latest design features and person centred training approaches to create a supportive environment for people living with dementia. The care village contains an award-winning sensory garden, which acts as a place of reminiscence, activity and enjoyment, as well as numerous sensory prompts around the village to create positive memories and feelings, encouraging interaction with other residents and relatives.