A Sanctuary Care home in Sawston has been bridging the digital gap as part of Shine! – a two year national arts programme.
Residents at Orchard House Residential Care Home in High Street have been learning new tricks and life skills to help engage them in the growing online world with the help of a film production company Salmagundi Films.
Learning new skills with iPads
Armed with their iPads, Salmagundi Films introduced a range of engaging apps to residents and the team, demonstrating how popular platforms can act as a stimulating communication and life story tool.
The three-weekly sessions used creative apps including art and painting, motion animation and time lapse videos, a book creator and a virtual piano to explore residents’ interests, find hidden talents and help recall fond memories.
Recalling fond memories
Harry Beeton, 91-year-old resident, recalled fond memories using the self-portrait app, where he changed the shirt he was wearing to a brick-like pattern which helped stimulate reminiscences of when he was a builder. He said: “It’s fascinating; I can’t believe I only have to touch the screen.”
Another example was when 86-year-old Barbara King created her virtual life book, where she used images to show her love of knitting and the places she has visited in her lifetime. The Sanctuary Care home’s manager Felicity Bucknall-Hart commented: “We have a lot of information on file about all of our residents, but drawing details together on an iPad was a quick and easier way of bringing memories together – it was all instant and it was a great opportunity for Barbara to discuss her likes and dislikes and see her book transform before her eyes.”
Support social skills
As well as offering a creative platform, the engaging sessions demonstrated how iPads can support people socially.
Felicity continued: “The sessions were really insightful to the residents. Before Salmagundi Films, many thought iPads were for the young and all this technology was a negative thing, but seeing and experiencing first-hand how great the apps are for all ages and the things you can easily do has really opened their eyes – in just three weeks we’ve reminisced, videoed, drawn pictures and even set up a Spotify and a Skype account so we can listen to songs from their hey-day and connect with loved ones across the globe moving forward.”
Shine! aims to shine a light on the individuals living in our care homes, encouraging their participation in arts-based sessions, including theatre, movement, music and film.
The programme is funded through Sanctuary Group, Sanctuary Care’s parent company, and is part of Sanctuary’s commitment to highlight the potential and talents of older people through quality arts experiences.