Connection is on the cards in Dunmurry

editorial image

For most people, the festive season would not be complete without the exciting arrival of Christmas cards from friends and family extending good wishes and holiday cheer. But for many older people, Christmas can be a very lonely time without correspondence or contact.

Parkmanor Oaks Care Home in Dunmurry, part of the Macklin Care Homes Group, is celebrating their Age NI partnership, with the creation of an inspirational, seasonal art project to help connect people in a meaningful way.

The Christmas card making project will see the residents of the all the Macklin Group of care homes create personalised hand-made cards for the users of the Age NI Day Centres, Anna House and the Skainos Centre.

The Day Centre users will return the good wishes by creating cards for the residents in the Macklin Care homes, meaning no one will have no one this Christmas.

Gareth Macklin, Director of the Macklin Care Homes, said: “Loneliness is a real issue that negatively impacts older people in many ways.

“At this time of year, the feeling of isolation can be amplified, so we decided to ramp up our partnership with Age NI to facilitate all our residents and their Day Centre users to be active participants in addressing the issue of loneliness.

“Over our 30 years providing first-class care for older people, we have found art therapy to be extremely beneficial both mentally and physically. Creating art is calming and promotes positive interactions with other residents. It creates a sense of pride and achievement which boosts mental wellbeing.

“Our Christmas card making project will encourage participants to get into the festive spirit.”