ARU Magic Me - ARCH Project - Dare To Imagine

62 Dare To Imagine What is the overlapping time that we can spend…get the ball rolling and then see seeing it grow…sometimes I could almost like leave the conversation, it might be a Lifestyle Coordinator and staff…coming up with “Oh, we could do this”…taking off from working with materials or that was completely theirs. Arts organisation evaluation day Through spending time in the care homes, the arts organisations supported care staff in developing skills and greater confidence for engaging in creative practices, for example in embracing technology during the pandemic or dancing and being silly with the residents. Care home staff reported learning to see certain things in a different and more creative way. For me it was the first time when I looked at the wheelchair in a different purpose. I saw the wheelchair just to transfer someone from one place to another, actually dancing with someone so that was really nice. They used a wheelchair in a different manner, different way, like rolling and dancing. Care homes evaluation day Furthermore, they learnt new ways to communicate, both with residents and with staff, and learnt artistic practices and activities that helped them to find out more about residents in terms of their life histories and their capabilities. In this way, the residencies also helped to develop personal confidence and bring care home staff out of themselves. Can I just say as well that as far as the learning points for us are, there are so many ways to communicate with people. Even as carers, we kind of know that but we never really push the boundaries. We kind of keep in this bracket of how you can communicate with people. There are so many ways and we’ve learnt so much from our artists… to do with communication and so has the team as well... Care homes evaluation day In addition to spending time in the homes, some arts organisations provided structured training sessions for care home staff that facilitated this learning. This focused on easy activities and ways to engage residents that could be integrated as “part of their everyday”, as one Lifestyle Coordinator reflected: “playing with the balloons has become a habit now… a regular activity”. We did some of the dances with them in the staff training and we talked about how they might bring that in slightly more, just to their everyday…sometimes there’s just these lulls in the day…and they said if, on each floor or each unit, they had a box of props…balloons or some scarves or something, they could just put some music on and they could just have a little dance with the residents…they can find little moments… maybe that’s easier…than setting up lots of sessions…maybe that’s a good way for [the care staff] to continue this. Arts organisation post-residency But aside from the training, spending time and sharing skills during the residency was recognised for enabling care home staff to see the impact of the arts, which would support their efforts to continue engaging with creative practice.