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The Prince of Wales to visit Neath care home hosting ground breaking arts project for residents with dementia

Published on 28 February 2019 01:45 PM

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will visit the Plas Bryn Rhosyn care home in Neath to see at first-hand how a ground breaking arts project is supporting older residents, particularly those living with dementia.

The project, cARTrefu - the Welsh word to reside, was set up to increase opportunities for care home residents to take part in creative activities, improve their well-being and in some cases provide new avenues for self-expression.

The Wales-wide, Age Cymru project is funded by Arts Council Wales and the Baring Foundation. More than 150 care homes, 1,500 residents and 300 care staff across Wales have taken part so far and the project is said to be the largest of its kind in Europe. The Prince of Wales is Patron of Age Cymru.

cARTrefu is currently delivered by 12 specially commissioned artists, under the guidance of three experienced mentors, who encourage residents to become involved in a variety of art forms including dance, music, painting and creative writing, through high quality and challenging activities. The project also works with care staff to increase their confidence in leading creative sessions for older people long after the project has left the care home.

An evaluation of the project, undertaken by Dr Katherine Algar Skaife from the Dementia Services Development Centre Wales at Bangor University, found that it significantly increased the well-being of residents, improved their social skills, and even helped some regain long lost abilities like using a knife and fork. The evaluation also found that the project brought fundamental changes to the way residents are viewed by themselves, and by their families and carers.

Age Cymru's chief executive, Victoria Lloyd said: "We are delighted to have this opportunity to show The Prince some of the ground-breaking work that cARTrefu is bringing to care homes across Wales. We are incredibly proud of the way our cARTrefu team has demonstrated how creative activities can be used to support vulnerable older people and, at the same time, bring much comfort and positivity to the families and carers of residents."

Care Home Manager Stuart Davies from Pobl Group, which operates Plas Bryn Rhosyn, said: "We were so pleased to welcome His Royal Highness to one of our cARTrefu sessions to hear first-hand from the people who live and work at Plas Bryn Rhosyn how beneficial the project has been for them."

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