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Getting Creative with the Harmony Wellness Program

January 27, 2021 A Day in the Life
Betty's art

Parkland on Eglinton West, wellness coach Lorraine Shaw has developed a paint night program that gets residents creative and engaged without leaving their suites. Inspiration for the virtual paint night came from Parkland on the Glen, where they would host a weekly in-person paint night for residents who loved showing off their artistic abilities. Because of the success at that campus, Lorraine decided to take paint night and make it virtual.  

Paint Night
Photos (left to right): Pat Piper, Frank Piper and Wendy MacBeth with their virtual paint night creations.

“The pandemic is making us think outside the box about what we can offer to the residents and what’s exciting for them,” says Lorraine. 

Lorraine prepared kits for each resident with paints, brushes and instructions with the date and time. At the time of the event, residents turned on their tv, took out their kit and started painting.  

“The residents loved it, they thought it was really engaging and they thought it was interesting something different,” says Lorraine.  

After the session, residents left their artwork outside the door and Lorraine took pictures of them and scanned them so they can start adding content to their virtual art gallery.  

“Family members will be able to sign into the gallery and see the artwork and leave comments,” says Lorraine. “We haven’t opened up the gallery just yet, we’re hoping to do a paint night each month and add more pieces from each person, so the gallery gets bigger and bigger and everyone can see what we’ve been doing.”  

For the first session, about ten residents took part and due to popularity of the first session, Lorraine figures next month’s session will have around 20 residents.  

“The residents really loved it, they thought it was engaging and something different,” says Lorraine. Each paint night has a theme, and the first session had a balloon theme. “Some paintings didn’t have any balloons on it at all, the resident did their own thing, but it turned out amazing because it’s their interpretation of what the painting should be, so it was really fun.”  

When collecting the art, Lorraine discovered an artist was in the group. Betty Peart, always enjoyed painting but it was only after her children grew older that she started to venture into artwork. Recently, Betty created a beautiful painting of the scenery from her balcony at Parkland on Eglinton West. 

Betty Peart holding a painting she created of the view from her balcony. 

One of Lorraine’s favourite things about developing programs is learning about new talents or having residents discover a talent after trying something new. “I think a lot of people will make a stereotype that once you get to a certain age that there’s no way for you to learn new skills, but there’s new things you can explore, even things you have never thought about,” says Lorraine. 

Lorraine hopes to continue to improve the virtual paint nights each month by using feedback from the residents. The next session is scheduled for February 19. Learn more about our Harmony Wellness Program.