Virtual Arts Snacks is a creative arts program in Multi-Purpose Services (MPS) across the Western NSW Local Health District. The new initiative by Arts OutWest provides rural artists and health workers with the skills to deliver a program of short, sequential cross-platform activities to residents in aged care.
Taking place in 25 small rural hospitals, aged-care residents will be set-up to use iPads and video-conferencing technologies to experience interactive visual arts and music activities. Art packs have already been sent to the first locations to kick-start the three-year project.Six face-to-face residencies will also be undertaken to integrate these activities into the daily routine of the hospitals.
Activity Officers in these small rural hospitals have limited options to utilise to keep people occupied. These creative outlets and toolkit for support workers will allow for a creative outlet in lockdown aged care. Geographic barriers are removed by the virtual nature of the program offering the community access to high-quality arts experiences.
One of the Activities Officers reported: “There’s been a subtle domino effect here. Where the male residents have been getting up and getting active without any prompting and I feel a big part of it has to do with the few residents that I’ve had attend the movement workshop on the Mondays taking what they’ve been doing back to the other residents and talking about it.”
Virtual Art Snacks will contribute to Western NSWLHD’s goal of re-inventing the MPS system as a network of high-quality care.
This project is supported by Regional Arts Fund Renewal in partnership with Western NSW Local Health District.