Above: Activity Leader Catriona Petit and Resident Rita Collins.
Now in its fourth year, the annual month-long Bealtaine Festival at CareChoice nursing home in Clonakilty, has kicked off with a host of creative activities to enhance residents’ experiences and foster long-term positivity and engagement within the home.
Festival Organiser and Director of Recreation, Clodagh Whelan said, “We have put together a month long festival that will bring local and national musicians, poets and artists to the five CareChoice Nursing Homes for a celebration of creativity as we age — which is what the Bealtaine Festival is all about.
An eclectic programme of rhythm, music, poetry, arts and crafts will run throughout the month of May at Care Choice Clonakilty to celebrate Bealtaine, with the opportunity for residents to beat the drums, listen to or recite poetry or strum the strings of a harp.
The CareChoice Activities team caters to all personalities, skillfully tailoring events and activities in a sensitive and caring way. For instance, residents, who are encouraged to participate with their families by their side, will have the opportunity to enjoy therapies and performances one to one in their rooms or in larger groups.
The Bealtaine Festival is spearheaded by Age and Opportunity, a national organisation set up to encourage people to reach their full potential as they age, is supported by the HSE, the Irish Sports Council and the Arts Council. This year’s Bealtaine theme is from a famous homecoming, where Odysseus comes home but does not recognise his homeland: “Tell me, then, and tell me truly, what land and country is this? Who are its inhabitants? Am I on an island, or is this the sea board of some continent?” Bealtaine participants are encouraged to look at our country through new eyes, to hear with new ears and to ask ‘what land and country is this?’
“I hope this Festival will touch all these questions, reawakening our sense of place and celebrating the creativity that exists all round us. I am continually inspired by our residents and I look forward to enjoying this year’s Bealtaine adventures with them,” said Ms Whelan.