Wild ride for seniors who still rock
RESIDENTS at Feros Care's residential villages in northern NSW have been exploring their creative side in bold colours and the result is turning heads.
About 20 residents, aged between 80 and 97 years, took part in workshops with Byron Bay street artist Teazer, to "Pimp Their Ride" - a Toyota Commuter bus - with a funky and fresh new design that has them cruising the streets in style.
It's all part of Feros Care's ethos to "grow bold", smashing the stereotypes around ageing and ability by proving that life can be fun at any age.
CEO Jenenne Buckley said Feros Care empowered seniors to live their best lives.
"You are never too old to learn new skills, to express yourself and enjoy social connection," she said.
"This project has injected life into our residential bus and our seniors have gotten so much joy and pride out of this initiative which is designed to bring more colour to all our lives."
Members of the group - dubbed the Feros Grow Bold Crewstars - went to three workshops, creating the final design which was then painted onto their Feros bus, used for social outings and village transport.
"Through this project, the residents have had an introduction to street art, from the history of graffiti to art that evokes emotion, looking at examples from modern street artists like Banksy," Ms Buckley said.
"One group of residents even rolled up to the workshops blasting The Beastie Boys! This just shows the energy they have for exploring new horizons, challenging themselves and showing that seniors still rock."
Davey Mac, aka Teazer, said he was thrilled to be involved.
"It's so awesome to be given the opportunity to do something like this," he said.
"The residents really embrace their creative side and have so much to express with their years of wisdom and life experience.
Crewstar Lois, aged 91 years, says she enjoyed the workshops very much.
"It is entirely different to any art I have done before, and I have been an artist my whole life. It was a complete surprise, I loved it."
Fran, 86, says she enjoyed the "coming together" of all ages.
"The crew are so kind and clever; seeing others having so much fun is heart-warming," she said.
"I loved turning a drawing into a real work of art with spray paint. I never would have done that, and now I have."
The "pimped" bus is now cruising the streets of Byron Bay and the initiative was such a success that Feros Care has submitted grant applications to fund future "arts in ageing" programs for seniors.