Relationship centred care and the arts.

 As more evidence of neglect arises from the Royal Commission on Aged Care Quality and Safety, Tasmania’s theme for Seniors Week was ‘connections’. We are reminded of the international evidence as to the poor health risks attributed to becoming chronically lonely and disconnected. We become more vulnerable when our visibility and meaningful connections diminish.

Our ‘home base’ working intuitively with the team at Dementia Specific Munnew Day Centre confirms and validates the difference of organised entertainment on a calendar, to a program we describe as creative relationship centred care. The challenge we have aside of this valued partnership, is defining the ‘why’ to further stakeholders. To ask them to invest in a psychosocial creative approach to developing meaningful relationships as to be the primary aim, and that the arts’ is the conduit for exchange.

Social Tonic makes fun stuff happen. It’s colourful, vibrant and has trained professional music practitioners supported to work in health related settings. The difference is that we blur the line between performer and audience. We establish a shared experience where age, status and perceived limitations become irrelevant in the moment of now. We become curious to all possibilities between us. A feeling of togetherness that becomes the seed for nurturing rich social connections and fellowship that matters.

The real and lasting impact is evident when these three aspects to delivery are genuinely honoured in a social and creative exchange:

  • We truly see you.
  • We genuinely recognise you.
  • We value and respect you.

The essential matter of caring relationships.