Painting empowers rehabilitation

A new Painting with Parkinson’s program has launched at St John of God Geelong Hospital to offer a creative outlet for people living with Parkinson’s.

St john of god Geelong Painting with Parkinson's

6 May 2019

A kind donation has kicked off the program, led by St John of God Geelong Hospital’s Arts & Health Project Officer Ros Pollard and Occupational Therapist Karen Sheehan, to give people living with the condition an opportunity to participate in a creative group.

Ros said the program empowered people to live a fuller and richer life.

“It brings people with similar challenges together to share their experiences and helps instil a sense of confidence and optimism,” she said.

“We encourage participants to experiment with a range of mediums and we provide the opportunity to learn new skills in a fun and supportive environment.

“For those who are feeling confident in their artistic abilities, this is an opportunity to get back into creative arts and for others they may discover new skills they didn’t know they had and also benefit from pre-drawing activities such as meditation and visualisation.”

The Painting with Parkinson’s program is the first in Geelong that is supported by Parkinson’s Victoria and the sixth program of its kind to be offered in the State.

“Importantly the Painting with Parkinson’s program is open to the community, you don’t have to be a patient at St John of God Geelong Hospital to participate, and we also welcome a carer or family member to attend with participants and join in,” Ros said.

“An emerging body of research is showing that creativity, along with exercise and social connectedness can be therapeutic for Parkinson’s disease symptoms and could even help the brain form new pathways.”


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