There is more going on in special care homes than shuffleboard and coffee.
As part of the provincial Special Care Home Week, the long-term care homes in the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region will be holding an art gala at the Herb Basset Care Home in the city on Sept. 22 from 1 to 4 p.m.
“We will have a live auction of some selected pieces and a silent auction all afternoon,” organizer Frank Suchorab said. “The purpose of that is to open up our homes to the community and general community to show people what kind of a community that we have within our care homes and that we are part of the community.”
Not only will it bring people in to see the care homes and what they do in the community, it also showcases the works of art the residents of the care homes in the health region have created.
“It is a way also, for our residents who live in long-term care, which can be a boring place, to help break up some of that boredom and reinspire their spirit,” Suchorab said. “There is lots of research out there that indicated one of the major plagues in long term care is a broken spirit. We get caught up in delivering our residents their needs but sometimes we forget about the deeper needs.”
The art can help stimulate the residents’ needs and help rekindle their spirits.
“It has been quite a remarkable journey,” Suchorab said. “It is quite amazing.”
The residents’ art is then displayed and sold at the auction.
“Along with the artwork, when it is sent to us from other care homes and when we display the art, we include a little biography with the resident’s name, their age and a little summary on how completing that artwork made them feel -- was it inspirational, was it painful, was it a joy,” Suchorab said.
Each year, volunteers go through the art and try to pick out a few pieces to move from the silent auction to the live auction.
“It is truly a very difficult thing for me to say this stands out more than the other,” Suchorab said. “We had 160-some pieces last year, all of which sold. I believe the highest went into the $300-400 mark in the live auction.”
Last year, Arts Centre volunteer Fred Bahr had a hard time choosing two or three for the live auction so they ended up with seven.
“It was really quite an emotional event for us to go through the artwork and the people coming to the show to read about the individuals who completed that artwork and how it made them feel,” Suchorab said. “That is a real win-win for us here. It allows folks that may have put down that canvas or may have never been involved with art, to realize that they had something to contribute.”
The art gala wouldn’t be possible without the help of the liberation professionals, Suchorab said.
“Those individuals work tirelessly to break up boredom,” Suchorab said. “They have all helped us make the formal and informal sessions of art that happen at all times during the day and on weekends.”
He also hopes by opening the car home, people realize it is not a place people where people waste away with nothing to do.
“We are hoping to educate the public that there is a lot of life in special care homes,” Suchorab said.
Tickets for the event are $20 and include free parking and a finger food lunch. They are available at the Bison Café, the Victoria Square Coffee Shop or by phoning either Suchorab or Rochelle Anderson at the Herb Basset Care Home.