Dementia Awareness Week 2018
Paula Paterson is an SSSC Dementia Ambassador. Here she tells us about her role in Kingdom Homes and a recent art exhibition the whole community got involved in.
‘I started with Kingdom Homes 15 years ago as a Lifestyle Coordinator before becoming Events Manager almost five years ago. I have been a Dementia Ambassador for almost a year.
‘The idea for the art exhibition came about during one of our Kingdom Care Homes Dementia Champion meetings (which is a group of dedicated Kingdom Homes employees and friends who come together annually to promote excellence in our homes). I suggested the idea as our residents get so much enjoyment from different art therapies in our homes and felt we needed to shout about what our residents can do. We should celebrate so much talent and creativity. We then took the ideas to our coordinators and residents focus groups and they all loved it.
‘Our arts exhibition showcased the various types of art created during our art therapy groups. The event included creative writing, painting, drawing, sculpture, textile art and even performing art.
‘The whole process was a huge community project with schools, nurseries and community members involved and is in conjunction with dementia awareness. We have received lots of support and encouragement from Age Concern and Alzheimer Scotland.
‘The purpose of our event is to not only showcase the talents of the residents in our homes but to change the preconception of care homes. We don’t want care homes seen as the last chapter in someone’s life, but as a brand new chapter full of possibilities. Our residents and teams couldn’t wait to get involved and have spent the last six months working so hard, it has been amazing. We’ve had a huge team effort with kitchen staff, care assistants, maintenance and bus teams getting involved. Some relatives also made art with their parents which was very moving.’
The event took place in the Community Hub of the Mercat Shopping in Kirkcaldy, from 15-20 May. Two Raith Rovers FC representatives and their mascot, Roary the Lion, came along to the grand opening along with residents and staff from two care homes, Methven House and Barrogil House and children and staff from a local nursery school Little Einstein’s Nursery who were involved in the project.