Residents of Dougherty Villa check out the latest edition of Clarence+ magazine in front of the facility's artworks that star on the cover.
Residents of Dougherty Villa check out the latest edition of Clarence+ magazine in front of the facility's artworks that star on the cover.

Dougherty Villa’s birds spread their wings

WITH limited access to the outside world, residents of Grafton’s Dougherty Villa (Clarence Village) have eagerly taken up their free copies of this season’s Clarence + magazine. The other reason they were keen to get their hands on this edition was its cover star.

Clarence Village CEO Duncan McKimm said restrictions on visitors and outings for residents have certainly made all reading matter in Dougherty Villa “hot property”, as they all seek to make the most of the enforced isolation.

“The magazine’s cover story feature on the Robert Moore artworks also added a point of interest very close to home for our residents here.”

Mr McKimm said while the original brief of the artworks was to help keep residents with dementia connected to their surroundings and environment, neither the organisation nor the artist knew just how important that would be coming into 2020.

“This commission was finished just in the nick of time really,” Mr McKimm said.

“Bob’s works are about triggering memories for residents with dementia and connecting them to their external environment even when they’re inside,” he said.

“At the moment with our residents severely limited in where they can go and what they can see the birds are also doing a lot of heavy lifting in keeping people’s spirits up.”

He said the restrictions on movement and visitors had presented many challenges for staff and residents across the aged care sector.

“At Dougherty Villa the focus has been on investing in technology to facilitate video calls with families and sourcing paintings, drawings and messages from the many groups of schoolchildren and playgroups that visit residents.”

The 20-work “Little Birds of the Clarence Valley” series was produced for Clarence Village (the owner of Dougherty Villa) as part of the fit out for its Waratah Wing extension in 2019.

Free copies of Clarence+ are now available in the Grafton Shoppingworld display rack and Grafton Mall Newsagency and selected cafes, with more distribution points being added across the valley in coming weeks.



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