When Kerry, Pastoral Care Coordinator at Blakeney Lodge, came up with the idea to make hand moulds of residents’ hands, she knew that it would be the perfect project to keep everyone at the Home engaged.
“The idea came about because hands intrigue me,” says Kerry. “The very first thing that touches us as we enter this world are hands, and the last thing that tends us on leaving this world are hands. Every act of love and compassion in the years in between is offered through our hands.”
The Home purchased 30 casting kits – one for each resident - with the goal of completing all 30 by the end of August.
“We are doing about three a week as we want to take our time and make it a personal experience for the residents,” says Kerry.
Above: Audrey, resident at Blakeney Lodge
“The process for making the hand moulds is simple. Each resident mixes the basic plaster recipe then places their hands in the mould. Once the plaster is dry and the moulds have formed, the moulds are mounted on a small base.”
The project has definitely been a big hit at the Home and also serves to complement Catholic Healthcare’s Mission Theme for 2021, Reaching Out. The staff brochure for the Reaching Out theme features an evocative image of several pairs of hands clasped together.
“Through looking at the Reaching Out theme image, we want everyone to ask – how can I nurture myself, my friends, my family? The ‘hands’ symbol represents friendship, wisdom, help, faith, hope and love – it is such a powerful image,” says Margaret, Catholic Healthcare Mission Manager.
The residents at Blakeney Lodge have also been able to collaborate with their daughters and sons, some choosing to make hand moulds that are clasped to their children’s hands. They are then able to choose to either keep the moulds, or give them to their families.
“It’s been lovely to hear the residents critiquing and appraising the physical appearance of their hands during the project. They then tell us about the life of those hands – growing up, working on farms, milking goats, pulling cows, rocking babies and holding loved ones,” says Kerry.
“My hands have worked very hard over the years – raising children, doing the gardening and all the housework!” says Gwen, resident (pictured top of page)
Blakeney Lodge, located in Tumut, is a welcoming Home catering for 30 residents.