The artistic and creative potential and talents of nursing home residents were celebrated in communities across Ireland on Friday, 19th May 2023. National Arts in Nursing Homes Day saw performances, exhibitions and celebratory events hosted in nursing homes as part of our annual Bealtaine Festival, celebrating the arts and creativity as we age.
The day’s schedule was brimming with engaging performances and exhibitions of art, pottery, knitting and other crafts produced by the residents.
As part of this event, three nursing homes were granted the National Arts in Nursing Homes Award for creating exciting and suitable Bealtaine projects that celebrates their resident’s artistic and creative talents, culminating in a festival event. This year’s recipients are Mooncoin Residential Care Centre, Borris Lodge and Highfield Healthcare.
In Co. Kilkenny, residents of Mooncoin Residential Care Centre presented the fruits of their participation in an arts project “If These Hands Could Sing”. For successive weeks they had explored the theme of reminiscence through the five senses, with the support of artist musician Liam Merriman.
Borris Lodge, in Co. Carlow, hosted an event as part of “The Borris Lace Exchange”, led by artist Jules Michael and collaborating with the Borris Lace-makers and sculptor Michelle Byrne. This involved a delicate lace-making demonstration intertwined with the sharing of poignant tales from the past and the creation of clay and plaster pieces mirroring the organic motifs of Borris Lace.
The final awardee was Highfield Healthcare in Dublin for their series of creative workshops centred around the Azure method titled “People and Place: Down Memory Lane”. Azure is a slow enquiry-based approach to looking at art designed for people living with dementia and their carer’s. Guided by Azure-trained visual artist Claire Halpin, these workshops embraced painting, printmaking and contemplation over artworks to foster interpersonal dialogue.
The following video is a celebration of all the participants of National Arts in Nursing Homes Day and a demonstration of how the arts can contribute to the overall well-being and care of residents in care settings.
National Arts in Nursing Homes Day is a partnership between Age and Opportunity and Nursing Homes Ireland.