Puppets aren’t just for kids

4 April 2023|Community News, Lifestyle| Off Comments off on Puppets aren’t just for kids|

Tasmanian theatre company Terrapin is helping improve the wellbeing of residents at a Glenorchy aged care facility, with the smiles on their faces proving that puppets aren’t just for kids.

Developed by Terrapin over the past two years, the ‘Forever Young’ program uses puppetry to combine elements of several therapeutic approaches, creating an immersive experience that captures the essence of family and stimulates memories of old-world items and events.

The program has been a hit with residents at OneCare Barossa Park Lodge in Glenorchy.

“Forever Young was made especially for this audience, through two years of trials, evaluation and asking older people what they wanted to see in a show,” Terrapin artistic director Sam Routledge said.

“This performance is part of a six-week tour of Tasmanian aged care residences – the first of its kind in the state.

“The program also includes individual one- on-one bedside visits for residents with more progressed dementia, ensuring we reach as many of our residents as possible.”

OneCare’s Natalie Neilson said Forever Young was another way to enhance the healthcare environment for residents.

“Puppet shows aren’t just for kids – by incorporating progressive art practices into aged care, we hope to improve wellbeing outcomes,” Ms Neilson said.

“OneCare is a strong advocate for best practices in aged and residential care and there is increasing evidence linking creativity to mental health and well- being, particularly as we age.”

Forever Young has been supported by a range of partners and donors, including the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF).

TCF chairperson Sally Darke said Forever Young was a great example of the arts collaborating with the aged care sector and industry experts to deliver a meaningful program that would have a lasting and positive impact.

“The TCF seeks to fund programs that build stronger, more vibrant and resilient communities,” she said.

“What Terrapin has done is delivering entertainment that builds social connection and enhances interaction through drama therapy.”

For more information, go to www.terrapin.org. au

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The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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