"What has made this a success is the fact that people who are living with a dementia have demonstrated over successive weeks how they can learn new skills ."
Hica CEO Penni Brown
A Hull-based care group has piloted a unique arts initiative aimed at bringing class-based learning to people living with a dementia in care homes.
Hica Group’s Elm Tree Court care home on Preston Road, recently introduced a watercolour painting course provided by the company’s training arm, the Shine Academy.
Until now The Hica Group’s Shine Academy has provided training to all its employees ensuring they have the necessary skills to support residents and service users.
The Academy has now expanded to provide courses for its residents. For the inaugural class a certificated six-week Watercolour Painting level 1 course was held at Elm Tree Court, with eight residents in the class, most of whom had never painted before.
The course started by showing how to paint effective backgrounds and each week the class explored the different layers that go into creating an effective watercolour painting.
The class was taught by Debbie Innes, an experienced local watercolour artist. At the end of the course all participants received a diploma confirming successful completion.
This focus on teaching new skills via class-based learning to people who live with a dementia is unique to this area, and bolsters Hica’s belief that residency in a care home does not mean quality of life should diminish.
Hica CEO Penni Brown said: “What has made this a success is the fact that people who are living with a dementia have demonstrated over successive weeks how they can learn new skills and, importantly, remember how to put them into practice. We are now looking at expanding the portfolio of classes we can put on and hope to have a full prospectus soon.”
One resident who took part commented: “It was great – took me back to when I was young. I love seeing my paintings on the wall.”
All the residents who took part have decided to continue painting and a level 2 class is being arranged for February.