Art wall documents stories of the elderly

THE Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) has welcomed the addition of a new art wall that displays creative illustrations inspired by the life experiences of its elderly patients.

Unveiled to the public on 23 June, the art wall was brought to fruition through the ‘Tribute Project’, which is a collaboration between Inscape Tas and the RHH.

RHH group director of clinical operations Wendy Rowell said the project paired local artists with patients admitted to the Acute Older Persons Unit to create pieces based on the stories of the elderly patients.

“Patients were given the opportunity to sit down with the artists and describe memories that were significant to them,” she said.

“From these stories, the artists created visual interpretations that the patients and their families now have as keepsakes.

“By all accounts, the patients involved in this project found it to be valuable medically, mentally and emotionally, and it’s been inspiring to see this project come together.

“It’s held a lot of meaning to all involved, including the staff on the ward.”

Funded by Palliative Care Tasmania through the Australian Government’s ‘Better Access to Palliative Care in Tasmania’ program, the project aims to raise awareness of the importance of older people’s stories.

Ms Rowell said these types of activities gave staff a “valuable insight” into the life journey of some of their patients.

“This provides an opportunity to see beyond the medical profile of a person to a more complete and meaningful picture of who they are,” she said.

“The art itself is quite moving and the artists have done a fantastic job of listening to the participants and capturing the spirit of the memories they’ve shared.”

Caption: A member of the public viewing the new art wall at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

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